Tag Archives: #psychology

Weinstein Defense Takes Ill-fated Run at Impugning Memory

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Friday, 2/7/2020- In an effort to impugn the memories of terror and  outrageous attack, sworn to by Harvey Weinstein’s victims, his defense trotted out a highly established expert on memory and cognitive perception.  Distinguished UC Irvine Professor and Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, testified to how memory can become “distorted.”

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Distinguished Professor and Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus

Even before her testimony began, a battle ensued between the defense and prosecution without the presence of the jury. Judge James Burke set ground rules for the testimony he’d allow.  The concept of “gist memory” and specifics of memory related directly to the sexual assault of victims in this case were ruled off limits.

Loftus supplied the typical perceptions of memory fading with time.  The prosecution reminded the jury that Loftus was  not a medical doctor. In fact, when shown a diagram of brain sectors, she declined knowledge of how memory was stored, and the diagram was  removed.

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illusi=Osborn

Countless times, she used the word “can,” not “shall,” or “will,” to describe possible impacts of Post Event Information (PEI) . She could not supply data on the likelihood of memory becoming tainted by any specific circumstance except the use of Valium. Her statement drew Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Osborn’s intense ire.

While “expert witness” testimony was allowed in order to provide overall knowledge of how memory works, inclusion of “Valium” seemed coached and specific to a victim who had testified.  Loftus acknowledged she was aware of the use of Valium by one of the victims and that she shaped her remark because of that knowledge. She also readily admitted she was being paid $600 per hour for her expert testimony.

When Loftus referred to military testing on soldiers who were being trained to endure the harshness of captivity, and how the researchers conducting the experiment were able to distort their memories, Illuzi-Osborn was able to secure her admission that these subjects knew their lives and their safety were not actually in eminent danger. She pointed to the difference between real trauma and staged events in which the actual danger did not exist.

Ultimately, Loftus had to admit that core memory for trauma could be stronger than for other types of non-traumatic events.

If weighed on the scales of courtroom justice, it seemed that the prosecution made the stronger argument.

 

New Light Shines on Cause of BPD!

At last, a study identifying the genetics of Borderline Personality Disorder!

Borderline Personality Disorder is now estimated to be  more  prevalent in society than Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia. It’s attributed to 2% of the population.

Society needs to understand the prevalence of this and other character disorders, and that the root cause is genetics. We can’t fix them, but there are treatments for BPD that will enable them to “fix” themselves.

Until the science of nuero-psychology began, such as back in Freud’s time, the only plausible explanation was the impact of the parent on the child. Today, we’re beginning to know better. And thank God! Parents who lovingly nurtured their horribly disturbed children were often fingered as the cause. They lived under a cloud of shame.

Children with Borderline Personality Disorder are extremely difficult to raise. They’re identified as “conduct disordered” while under 18. Mental Health professionals fail to address their issues in a meaningful way that helps the parent cope and addresses the growing manipulative character of the child. They incite, enrage, distort, bully and blame. It feels like the child you adore, who you’d lay down your life for, sees you as the enemy because you’re responsible for curbing their outrageous behavior and attempting to encourage them to become caring and concerned beings. There is no escape from the child who behaves like an enemy in your midst.

Hopefully, there will be more recognition of the anguish the parent experiences in raising a BPD child, and that someone will develop treatment protocols to mend the family.