Beliefs about memory among psychology students and their professors in psychodynamic clinical and experimental study programs
Introduction. – Research has shown that lay people, and even psychologists, may have distorted knowledgeabout memory functioning. May different study programs in psychology influence their ideas?
Objective(s). – The study was aimed at evaluating psychology students’ and psychology professors’ knowledge about memory and factors potentially affecting the accuracy of episodic memory reports in clinical and legal contexts.
Method. – A questionnaire was administered to introductory and advanced students of psychology enrolled at different curricula – experimental psychology and clinical psychology with a psychoanalytical orientation – and to professors teaching the courses in the same curricula.
Results. – Results showed that advanced students and professors in experimental psychology have higher general knowledge of factors influencing memory performance than their peers, including memory issues of particular relevance to clinical psychology; no difference between the curricula was found for the introductory students.
Conclusion. – The results are discussed in terms of the risks that the lack of knowledge on memory functioning of the psychologists with a psychodynamic orientation may have in producing wrong reports in forensic contexts.
European Review of Applied Psychology, 2013, 63 (5), 251-256