How Reliable Are the Memories of Sexual Assault Victims?

#1
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/obs...t-victims/

EXCERPT: . . . I’m an expert on psychological trauma, including sexual assault and traumatic memories. I’ve spent more than 25 years studying this. I’ve trained military and civilian police officers, prosecutors and other professionals, including commanders at Fort Leavenworth and the Pentagon. I teach this to psychiatrists in training at Harvard Medical School.

As an expert witness, I review videos and transcripts of investigative interviews. It’s like using a microscope to examine how people recall—and don’t recall—parts of their assault experiences. I’ve seen poorly trained police officers not only fail to collect vital details, but actually worsen memory gaps and create inconsistences. Ignorance of how memory works is a major reason why sexual assault is the easiest violent crime to get away with, across our country and around the world.

[...]

Researchers divide memory processing into three stages: encoding, storage, and retrieval.

Encoding refers to the temporary registration of sensations and thoughts into short-term memory, a kind of “buffer” or RAM that can hold information up to 30 seconds. For any event we experience, including this one, we're not taking in every detail. From moment to moment, what our brain encodes is a function of what we're paying attention to, and what has emotional significance to us. [...] In contrast, what we're not paying attention to, or has little or no significance [...] are encoded poorly or not at all.

Critically, whether it’s an IED attack or a sexual assault, just because we—or an investigator, or even the survivor herself looking back later—believe some aspect of an event would or should be a central detail, that does not mean it was a central detail for the survivor’s brain at the time. Many who have been sexually assaulted don’t remember whether certain things were done to their body because, at that point, they were focused on the perpetrator’s cold eyes, or traffic sounds on the street below. That tells us nothing about the reliability of the details they do recall, and nothing about their credibility.

Storage is the next stage. [...] From the outset, storage of central details is stronger than storage of peripheral ones. Those peripheral details fade quickly, and if not remembered and re-encoded, are mostly gone within a day. We all know this: What we pay attention to and has significance to us is what we’re more likely to remember over time.

[...] Here’s another factor that affects storage strength: Whether a detail’s emotional significance to us is negative or positive. Evolution has selected brains that are biased to encode the negative more strongly, to enable survival in a world with predators and other grave dangers. [...] Most important of all, when it comes to what will remain stored in our brains, is this: How emotionally activated, stressed, or terrified we were during the experience. Decades of research have shown that stress and trauma increase the differential storage of central over peripheral details.

[...] Which brings me, finally, to memory retrieval. I only have time to say a few important things.

Yes, memories generally fade. That’s partly because what starts out as a relatively detailed memory becomes more abstract over time. We remember the gist of what happened and a few of the most central details. When we remember or tell the story, our brain is literally piecing it together on the fly. That’s another reason why, as memory researchers love to say, memory is not like a videotape. Sometimes we get confused. Sometimes other people, or even movies we watch, supply inaccurate details that are inadvertently re-encoded into the overall memory and its abstract story.

But memories of highly stressful and traumatic experiences, at least their most central details, don’t tend to fade over time. And while people may have the superficial abstract stories they tell themselves and others about their worst traumas, that’s not because the worst details have been lost. It’s often because they don’t want to remember them, and don’t (yet) feel safe to remember them.

[...] for many victims of sexual assault [...] They have bland abstract descriptions they tell themselves and others, for example, their husband early in the marriage, before they feel safe enough to share the painful details, and that sharing some of those is necessary for other reasons. They might not have retrieved the horrific central details for months or years. But that doesn’t mean those vivid sensory details and wrenching emotions aren’t still there, never going away, ready to be retrieved under the right (or wrong) circumstances.

Yes, peripheral and less central details can get distorted more easily than many people realize. But decades of research have shown that the most central details are not easy to distort, which typically requires repeated leading questions from people in authority or a very strong internal motivation for doing so. But without compelling evidence of such influences, there is no scientific or rational basis for assuming that such distortions have occurred, especially for those most central and horrible details the person has been both tormented by and trying to avoid, sometimes successfully and sometimes not, for years or even decades....

MORE: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/obs...t-victims/
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#2
If you're a woman, you can't remember anything, but it seems if you're a guy, then your forgetfulness is perfectly okay! Kavanaugh said he couldn't recall things, but that's okay, but Dr Ford said the same thing, and that's not okay. So, we don't believe you Dr Ford, because you can't remember everything that happened, therefore, it didn't happen, but Kavanaugh? You can't remember much, but that's okay, we will confirm you anyway!

For one day, I'd like to be a white privileged man. Maybe I'll be one for Halloween Big Grin
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#3
(Oct 29, 2018 08:26 PM)Leigha Wrote: If you're a woman, you can't remember anything, but it seems if you're a guy, then your forgetfulness is perfectly okay! Kavanaugh said he couldn't recall things, but that's okay, but Dr Ford said the same thing, and that's not okay. So, we don't believe you Dr Ford, because you can't remember everything that happened, therefore, it didn't happen, but Kavanaugh? You can't remember much, but that's okay, we will confirm you anyway!

For one day, I'd like to be a white privileged man. Maybe I'll be one for Halloween Big Grin

The difference is that Kavanaugh wasn't trying to ruin anyone's life and had evidence and witnesses that didn't contradict his story, and that Ford could offer no facts that actually corroborated her story...and several that were outright inconsistent. Kavanaugh did not claim he couldn't remember the event; he asserted that it positively did not happen. So what specific forgetfulness of his are you talking about?

Being a white male for Halloween would be gender appropriation. Wink
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#4
(Oct 29, 2018 08:44 PM)Syne Wrote:
(Oct 29, 2018 08:26 PM)Leigha Wrote: If you're a woman, you can't remember anything, but it seems if you're a guy, then your forgetfulness is perfectly okay! Kavanaugh said he couldn't recall things, but that's okay, but Dr Ford said the same thing, and that's not okay. So, we don't believe you Dr Ford, because you can't remember everything that happened, therefore, it didn't happen, but Kavanaugh? You can't remember much, but that's okay, we will confirm you anyway!

For one day, I'd like to be a white privileged man. Maybe I'll be one for Halloween Big Grin

The difference is that Kavanaugh wasn't trying to ruin anyone's life and had evidence and witnesses that didn't contradict his story, and that Ford could offer no facts that actually corroborated her story...and several that were outright inconsistent. Kavanaugh did not claim he couldn't remember the event; he asserted that it positively did not happen. So what specific forgetfulness of his are you talking about?

Being a white male for Halloween would be gender appropriation.  Wink

C'mon, Syne. Did you watch the same hearing as me? Kavanaugh couldn't remember that he was a staggering drunk back in college days, who whipped out his ....to show a fellow classmate. And what a shock, the FBI didn't question the particular woman making that claim.

Just one example.

I don't think the guy is deplorable, but I don't think that Dr Ford or Kavanaugh really received due process of law. Sounds like the FBI was ordered to steer the ''investigation'' a certain way, and crucial people were left out of questioning, including Kavanaugh and Ford, and she is thought of as a liar, now. Or a forgetful woman who just can't remember what happened.

That's not due process. 

Don't make fun of my white privileged man Halloween costume! I bet I get more candy than everyone else because of my privilege. Big Grin
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#5
(Oct 29, 2018 09:00 PM)Leigha Wrote:
(Oct 29, 2018 08:44 PM)Syne Wrote:
(Oct 29, 2018 08:26 PM)Leigha Wrote: If you're a woman, you can't remember anything, but it seems if you're a guy, then your forgetfulness is perfectly okay! Kavanaugh said he couldn't recall things, but that's okay, but Dr Ford said the same thing, and that's not okay. So, we don't believe you Dr Ford, because you can't remember everything that happened, therefore, it didn't happen, but Kavanaugh? You can't remember much, but that's okay, we will confirm you anyway!

For one day, I'd like to be a white privileged man. Maybe I'll be one for Halloween Big Grin

The difference is that Kavanaugh wasn't trying to ruin anyone's life and had evidence and witnesses that didn't contradict his story, and that Ford could offer no facts that actually corroborated her story...and several that were outright inconsistent. Kavanaugh did not claim he couldn't remember the event; he asserted that it positively did not happen. So what specific forgetfulness of his are you talking about?

C'mon, Syne. Did you watch the same hearing as me? Kavanaugh couldn't remember that he was a staggering drunk back in college days, who whipped out his ....to show a fellow classmate. And what a shock, the FBI didn't question the particular woman making that claim.
Where is corroborated evidence of his supposed heavy drinking? Can't remember something that didn't happen. Just because partisan Democrats were asking questions doesn't mean those questions were backed by anything solid.

The FBI did talk to that woman:

FBI has reached out to Kavanaugh accuser Deborah RamirezThe FBI has reached out to Deborah Ramirez, who has accused Brett Kavanaugh of inappropriate sexual behavior when they were in college, in its background investigation of the Supreme Court nominee, her lawyer has confirmed to CNN.


Her story was not corroborated by anyone:

The New Yorker has not confirmed with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party. The magazine contacted several dozen classmates of Ramirez and Kavanaugh regarding the incident. Many did not respond to interview requests; others declined to comment, or said they did not attend or remember the party.
- https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk...ah-ramirez


So you seem to be the victim of some deceptive editing/narrative. Rolleyes

Quote:I don't think the guy is deplorable, but I don't think that Dr Ford or Kavanaugh really received due process of law. Sounds like the FBI was ordered to steer the ''investigation'' a certain way, and crucial people were left out of questioning, including Kavanaugh and Ford, and she is thought of as a liar, now. Or a forgetful woman who just can't remember what happened.

That's not due process. 

There is no right of due process for an accuser. Due process exists to protect those who face legal consequences. And no doubt, between her GoFundMe, any book deal, and being a heroin of the left, like Hill, Ford is doing alright. Again, leftists have played you for a fool.
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#6
(Oct 29, 2018 09:47 PM)Syne Wrote:
(Oct 29, 2018 09:00 PM)Leigha Wrote:
(Oct 29, 2018 08:44 PM)Syne Wrote:
(Oct 29, 2018 08:26 PM)Leigha Wrote: If you're a woman, you can't remember anything, but it seems if you're a guy, then your forgetfulness is perfectly okay! Kavanaugh said he couldn't recall things, but that's okay, but Dr Ford said the same thing, and that's not okay. So, we don't believe you Dr Ford, because you can't remember everything that happened, therefore, it didn't happen, but Kavanaugh? You can't remember much, but that's okay, we will confirm you anyway!

For one day, I'd like to be a white privileged man. Maybe I'll be one for Halloween Big Grin

The difference is that Kavanaugh wasn't trying to ruin anyone's life and had evidence and witnesses that didn't contradict his story, and that Ford could offer no facts that actually corroborated her story...and several that were outright inconsistent. Kavanaugh did not claim he couldn't remember the event; he asserted that it positively did not happen. So what specific forgetfulness of his are you talking about?

C'mon, Syne. Did you watch the same hearing as me? Kavanaugh couldn't remember that he was a staggering drunk back in college days, who whipped out his ....to show a fellow classmate. And what a shock, the FBI didn't question the particular woman making that claim.
Where is corroborated evidence of his supposed heavy drinking? Can't remember something that didn't happen. Just because partisan Democrats were asking questions doesn't mean those questions were backed by anything solid.

The FBI did talk to that woman:

FBI has reached out to Kavanaugh accuser Deborah RamirezThe FBI has reached out to Deborah Ramirez, who has accused Brett Kavanaugh of inappropriate sexual behavior when they were in college, in its background investigation of the Supreme Court nominee, her lawyer has confirmed to CNN.


Her story was not corroborated by anyone:

The New Yorker has not confirmed with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party. The magazine contacted several dozen classmates of Ramirez and Kavanaugh regarding the incident. Many did not respond to interview requests; others declined to comment, or said they did not attend or remember the party.
- https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk...ah-ramirez


So you seem to be the victim of some deceptive editing/narrative.  Rolleyes

Quote:I don't think the guy is deplorable, but I don't think that Dr Ford or Kavanaugh really received due process of law. Sounds like the FBI was ordered to steer the ''investigation'' a certain way, and crucial people were left out of questioning, including Kavanaugh and Ford, and she is thought of as a liar, now. Or a forgetful woman who just can't remember what happened.

That's not due process. 

There is no right of due process for an accuser. Due process exists to protect those who face legal consequences. And no doubt, between her GoFundMe, any book deal, and being a heroin of the left, like Hill, Ford is doing alright. Again, leftists have played you for a fool.
Because your guy was confirmed, you say I was played for a fool? His confirmation means nothing. White privileged men know the game, and know how to play it. I never thought you were naive.
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#7
(Oct 29, 2018 09:52 PM)Leigha Wrote: Because your guy was confirmed, you say I was played for a fool? His confirmation means nothing. White privileged men know the game, and know how to play it. I never thought you were naive.

No, you would have been played for a fool either way it turned out. You'd probably just be more assured of your uninformed opinion if it went the other way.
I don't know which is worse, believing white male privilege is a thing or flippantly dismissing all evidence contrary to your own beliefs.
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#8
(Oct 29, 2018 10:04 PM)Syne Wrote:
(Oct 29, 2018 09:52 PM)Leigha Wrote: Because your guy was confirmed, you say I was played for a fool? His confirmation means nothing. White privileged men know the game, and know how to play it. I never thought you were naive.

No, you would have been played for a fool either way it turned out. You'd probably just be more assured of your uninformed opinion if it went the other way.
I don't know which is worse, believing white male privilege is a thing or flippantly dismissing all evidence contrary to your own beliefs.

I'm a pretty reasonable thinker, and don't have knee jerk reactions. I simply listened to her testimony and felt that it was convincing. She seemed genuine, might be a better way of saying it. I don't believe that the Democrats asked a woman to lie under oath, to keep Kavanaugh from testifying, as I think if that were the case, she wouldn't have come across credible. Even Trump found her credible. I also don't believe ''all women,'' simply because they're women. And I don't believe that all men take advantage of their privilege, but many do, Syne. Kavanaugh sat at that hearing crying, and carrying on...like a petulent child who couldn't believe that anyone would ever doubt his integrity. The SC Judge spot isn't an entitlement. He comes across as entitled, like Trump, like most of the men in the white house, and in CEO jobs, and like Harvey Weinstein, etc. 

If you can't see how that seems from a minority's viewpoint, then you're willfully ignorant. No offense.
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#9
(Oct 29, 2018 11:11 PM)Leigha Wrote: I'm a pretty reasonable thinker, and don't have knee jerk reactions. I simply listened to her testimony and felt that it was convincing. She seemed genuine, might be a better way of saying it. I don't believe that the Democrats asked a woman to lie under oath, to keep Kavanaugh from testifying, as I think if that were the case, she wouldn't have come across credible. Even Trump found her credible. I also don't believe ''all women,'' simply because they're women. And I don't believe that all men take advantage of their privilege, but many do, Syne. Kavanaugh sat at that hearing crying, and carrying on...like a petulent child who couldn't believe that anyone would ever doubt his integrity. The SC Judge spot isn't an entitlement. He comes across as entitled, like Trump, like most of the men in the white house, and in CEO jobs, and like Harvey Weinstein, etc. 

If you can't see how that seems from a minority's viewpoint, then you're willfully ignorant. No offense.

"Felt" being the operative word there. Feels cloud reasonable thinking. And what "seemed" without concrete reasoning is just another appeal to emotion.

Who said Democrats asked her to lie under oath? O_o
From all accounts, she's the one who contacted members in Congress, with the entire story already detailed.
Where did Trump find her credible? You know, in knowing that it was Kavanaugh. Dodgy

"Many do" is a broad generality that does not speak to any given case.

So if you were accused of murder, in full view of your young children, you wouldn't cry and feel self-righteous? You'd be calm and just accept it, right? Rolleyes
You're obviously repeating every leftist narrative they tried.

How things "seem" to you is wholly subjective, and you give no reasoning whatsoever other than emotional reactions.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqQ5pjNTk_I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGxr1VQ2dPI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoZAhiJZXgA
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#10
Quote:Felt" being the operative word there. Feels cloud reasonable thinking.

So I take it you have no experience with gut feeling or intuition? How sad..
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