The -Files: A Review of the Psychological Literature Regarding False Memories of Alien Abduction

Joshua David Finkelstein

Abstract


Memories of alien abduction events present researchers with a unique opportunity to explore memories for events which, in all likelihood, did not occur. In this review of the literature, the factors which can lead to the development of abduction memories are explored. These include personality and psychopathology variables, as well as instances of sleep paralysis and the effects of hypnosis and memory implantation. In the end, while the events abductees report are unlikely to have occurred, the earnestness with which they endorse these memories is a strong indicator that memory is a malleable and complicated phenomenon, with implications in a wide range of psychological topics.

            Keywords: Alien Abduction, False Memories, Recovered Memories, the truth is out there


References


Appelle, S., Lynn, S.J., Newman, L., & Malaktaris, A., (2014) “Alien abduction experiences.” In varieties of anomalous experiences: examining the scientific evidence, second edition. E. Cardena, S.J. Lynn, and S. Krippner (editors). American Psychological Association.

Bass, E., & Davis, L. (1988). The courage to heal: A guide for women survivors of child sexual abuse. New York: Harper & Row.

Breuer, J., & Freud, S. (1957). Studies on hysteria. New York: Basic Books.

Cheyne, J. A. (2005). Sleep paralysis episode frequency and number, types, and structure of associated hallucinations. Journal of Sleep Research, 14(3), 319-324.

Clancy, S. A. (2005). Abducted: How people come to believe they were kidnapped by aliens. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

Clancy, S. A, McNally, R. J., Schacter, D. L., Lenzenweger, M. F., & Pitman, R. K. (2002). Memory distortion in people reporting abduction by aliens. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 111(3), 455–4

Hough, P., & Rogers, P. (2008). Individuals who report being abducted by aliens: Investigating the differences in fantasy proneness, emotional intelligence and the big five personality factors. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 27(2), 139-161. 61.

Lindsay, D. S., Hagen, L., Read, J. D., Wade, K., & Garry, M. (2004). True photographs and false memories. Psychological Science, 15, 149–154.

Loftus, E. F. (1993). The reality of repressed memories. The American Psychologist, 48(5), 518– 537.

Loftus, E. F., & Pickrell, J. E., (1995). The formation of false memories. Psychiatric Annals, 25(12), 720-725.

Mazzoni, G. A. L., Loftus, E. F., & Kirsch, I. (2001). Changing beliefs about implausible autobiographical events: A little plausibility goes a long way. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 7(1), 51-59.

McNally, R. J. & Clancy, S.A., (2005). Sleep Paralysis, Sexual Abuse, and Space Alien Abduction. Transcultural Psychiatry, 42(1), 113–122.

Newman, L.S., & Baumeister, R.F. (1996). Toward an explanation of the UFO abduction phenomena: hypnotic elaboration, extraterrestrial sadomasochism, and spurious memories. Psychological Inquiry, 7(2) 99-126.

Otgaar, H., Candel, I., Merckelbach, H., & Wade, K. A. (2009). Abducted by a UFO: prevalence information affects young children's false memories for an implausible event. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 23(1), 115-125.

Sandler, J., & Freud, A. (1985). The analysis of defense: The ego and the mechanisms of defense revisited. New York, N.Y: International Universities Press.

Sheaffer, R. (1981) The UFO verdict: Examining the evidence. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books.

Spanos, N. P., Cross, P. A., Dickson, K., & DuBreuil, S. C. (1993). Close encounters: an examination of UFO experiences. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 102(4), 624–632.

Wade, K. A., Garry, M., Read, J. D., & Lindsay, S. (2002). A picture is worth a thousand lies:

Using false photographs to create false childhood memories. Psychonomic Bulletin &

Review, 9(3), 597-603.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 The New School Psychology Bulletin

© The New School Psychology Bulletin | editors@nspb.net