View Full Version : Can a person voluntarily induce memory suppression?

08-16-2010, 01:22 PM
Just curious is all.

08-16-2010, 01:31 PM

08-16-2010, 01:33 PM
Mind if I ask how?

08-16-2010, 01:42 PM
I used to know, but I made myself forget.

08-16-2010, 01:43 PM
There really isn't a definitive process to it. You force yourself to forget, then when cues which would potentially recall the memory are ignored you forget more. It's complicated because you not only forget what the memory was but also how other things you encounter relate to that memory.

Purely as a hypothetical...

Lets say you sat down to eat breakfast with the smell of bacon in the air on the day that your parent told you that your pet died. The smell of bacon is associated with the memory of the lost pet. However through forcing yourself to forget the painful part of your pet's death (not necessarily forgeting the pet itself, just the bad memory) you may have to also train yourself that when you smell bacon it isn't associated with that bad memory. By breaking the link between the stimuli and the memory recalled, it makes it harder and harder to recall the repressed memory. So the process of forgetting takes time, however the more your forget, the harder it becomes to recall the repressed memory.

P.S. It's been 10 years since my college psych class. Don't make me recall those repressed memories...