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J R Soc Med. 1983 June; 76(6): 480–484.
PMCID: PMC1439196

Use of hypnosis in criminology: discussion paper.


Memories of events which are unremarkable may pass unrecorded or may fade with the passage of time. In any situation of stress, anxiety may cloud the memory of the incident and in the case of some intensely frightening or humiliating experience such material may not be subject to voluntary conscious recall and may be repressed. A technique for uncovering certain 'forgotten' or repressed memories with the use of hypnosis is described. A similar method has been used in order to retrieve such memories in the investigation of witnesses and victims of serious crime. Nevertheless, various aspects of the overall validity of such a procedure have been called into question and for this reason the results of numerous experiments and the conclusions arrived at in many papers are discussed. It is emphasized that a rigid code of conduct be followed if hypnosis is to be used as an investigatory tool.

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Selected References

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