The return of the repressed

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):535-543 (2006)
Abstract
Repression continues to be controversial. One insight crystallized by the commentaries is that there is a serious semantic problem, partly resulting from a long silence in psychology on repression. In this response, narrow views (e.g., that repression needs always be unconscious, must yield total amnesia) are challenged. Broader conceptions of repression, both biological and social, are considered, with a special stress on repression of meanings (denial). Several issues – generilizability, falsifiability, personality factors, the interaction of repression with cognitive channel (e.g., recall vs. dreams), and false-memory as repression – are discussed.
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