Validating reports of poor childhood memory
For example, a high percentage of female psychiatric in-patients have reported experiencing histories of childhood sexual abuse.
The existence of repressed memories is an extremely controversial topic in psychology; although some studies have concluded that it can occur in a varying but generally small percentage of victims of trauma, many other studies dispute its existence entirely.
According to proponents of the existence of repressed memories, such memories can be recovered years or decades after the event, most often spontaneously, triggered by a particular smell, taste, or other identifier related to the lost memory, or via suggestion during psychotherapy. Pope, was based on a competition in which entrants could win 00 if they could identify "a pre-1800 literary example of traumatic memory that has been repressed by an otherwise healthy individual, and then recovered." Pope claimed that no entrant had satisfied the criteria.
Ross Cheit, a political scientist at Brown University, cited Nina, a 1786 opera by the French composer Nicolas Dalayrac.
The level of emotional significance of a memory correlates directly with the memory's veracity.
Studies of subjective reports of memory show that memories of highly significant events are unusually accurate and stable over time.