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Alien Abduction Tales Offer Clues on Memory

by Ivan Seeking
Tags: abduction, alien, clues, memory, offer, tales
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Ivan Seeking
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Jun27-04, 02:17 AM
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June 25, 2004 -- Recalling a traumatic memory may provoke severe distress in people, even if the memory may be a product of their own imagination, according to a new study.

The study showed that people who claim to have been abducted by aliens show the same signs of distress, such as increased heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension, shown by people recalling more plausible traumatic events, such as wartime experiences.

Researchers say these signs of distress are often viewed as a testament to authenticity of a person's memory of a traumatic event, such as childhood abuse. But the researchers say these results show that physiological responses should not be used to verify traumatic memories in the evaluation of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

...Researchers say that for people who believe they have been abducted by aliens, recalling their abduction can provoke physiological reactions similar to those evoked by more verifiable stressful memories.

Therefore, they say physiological responses are not a valid indicator of whether a memory is real or not. [continued]
http://my.webmd.com/content/article/...000_1000_nb_04

I assume this may just be a case of bad reporting but the article appears to say that it can't be so its not. As reported, the logic appears to be completely circular.
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zoobyshoe
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Jun27-04, 06:11 AM
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I don't think it's the reporting, but the means of studying the reactions that is circular.

The point, which is that the strength of people's reactions is not an indicator of the reality of what they're reacting to (feelings aren't facts) is very poorly made here. You can't prove these people's emotional reactions are overblown untill you prove they were never abducted. The logic of this particular study is, indeed, circular and useless.

I am not sure what the point is anyway. I haven't run into anyone defending the reality of alien abductions based on the strength of the alleged abductees emotions when recounting the story. In other words, if they can pass a lie detector test, all it means is that they're not lying about what they believe happened. The fact they're not lying about what they believe happened doesn't mean that what they believe happened is what actually happened.

People who are psychotic and hear abusive voices have all these same "real" physiological responses to the hallucinations. They report that the voices are completely real. They would likewise pass a lie detector test if the question were posed as to whether or not the voices were real.
Ivan Seeking
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Jun27-04, 02:00 PM
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Some "experts" do point to this [the emotions and measured stress reactions] as evidence of authentic encounters. I guess is does tend to rule out intentional hoaxes in some cases. To me that alone is significant in that one more potential explanation can be dismissed. It seems that with reasonable confidence we can say that some people genuinely believe that they have been abducted by aliens and that they have real memories of this experience.

zoobyshoe
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Jun27-04, 02:28 PM
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Alien Abduction Tales Offer Clues on Memory

I don't think it's accurate to call a memory a "real" memory under these circumstances, unless you can prove what was remembered actually happened. "Real" memory could be erroneously construed as the opposite of "false" memory.

Unfortunately for the abduction believers, the vividness of the memory, and the strength of the alleged abductees' emotions in connection with their memories can't be used as evidence for the objective reality of the experiences. It does say alot about their subjective impact. That has to be recognised.

I almost always get the impression people I've seen interviewed about this are telling the truth as they know it.
Ivan Seeking
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Jun27-04, 02:36 PM
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I only meant that they believe these to be real memories as opposed to memories of a dream, or a story from a book, for example.
mouseonmoon
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Jul25-04, 01:16 AM
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more on this subject
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/SciTe...rd_040721.html

Feeling Is Believing?
Alien Abductees Reveal How Emotion Can Cloud Reality
By Lee Dye
ABCNEWS.com

quotes:
Why did they believe so strongly in something that is so implausible? In answers to a questionnaire, the abductees scored high on personality traits that make them a bit different. For example, just because an idea seems magical doesn't necessarily mean it isn't true.

People with those traits tend to have "a rich fantasy life, and to endorse unconventional beliefs," the researchers say in their report.

Most of the participants came from traditional religious backgrounds, but had drifted away.

"These individuals have strong spiritual needs that are not being met by conventional religions," McNally suggests.

=======

also of interest is this:
http://www.reporter-times.com/?modul...29&format=html

Man remembers 1949 UFO sighting
Sunday July 18, 2004

======
http://www.cincypost.com/2004/07/15/wecker071504.html

Source: The Cincinati Post - Ohio

Professor exposes the aliens among us
his book:
"Is ET Here? No Politically, but Yes Scientifically and Theologically"

======

then again, people 'believe' in Science==and Stephen Hawking just 'lost his bet' about
Black holes:
"There is no baby universe branching off, as I once thought. The information remains firmly in our universe," Hawking said in a speech to about 800 scientists from 50 countries. "I'm sorry to disappoint science fiction fans, but if information is preserved, there is no possibility of using black holes to travel to other universes."

darn it!

"It is great to solve a problem that has been troubling me for nearly 30 years, even though the answer is less exciting than the alternative I suggested."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Jul21.html

Hawking Revisits Black Hole Theory
Collapsed Stars Do Not Destroy Everything They Consume, Astrophysicist Says

By Shawn Pogatchnik
Associated Press
Thursday, July 22, 2004; Page A03


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