The Effects of Memory Recovery Techniques on Jurors’ Perceptions of Recovered Memories

  •  Elisa Krackow    
  •  Alyssa Long    


The current study examined the impact of memory recovery techniques (guided imagery and dream interpretation) on mock jurors’ perceptions of recovered memories. Participants (N = 181) were randomly assigned to read one of four vignettes representing a therapist who uncovered memories of child sexual abuse in an adult female client using guided imagery, dream interpretation, technique concealed, or memories were continuous as opposed to recovered. Participants then responded to a series of questions regarding plaintiff credibility, defendant guilt, and external influences. Lower ratings of plaintiff credibility and defendant guilt emerged, along with higher ratings of external influence when guided imagery or dream interpretation was used by the therapist compared to when the technique was concealed. The same pattern of findings held when the dependent variables of interest reflected credible vs. not credible and guilty vs. not guilty decisions. The current study highlights the necessity of informing jurors as to the processes by which memories are recovered.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.