Pathological Science and the Myth of Recovered Memories: Reply to McNally

Simon Boag*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Richard McNally's thoughtful commentary points to a noncontroversial source of the fixation with Freud's early theory of repression. At the same time, however, McNally's account does not directly address the critical issue at the heart of my original article, namely that Freud's later theory of repression is persistently misconceptualized and accompanied by a breakdown in critical inquiry. Although the account proposed by McNally does not necessarily contradict this proposal, other potential sources of bias should also be considered. In particular, the acrimony provoked by the recovered memory dispute and the prevalence of ad hominem attacks against Freud suggest that emotional factors may also be obscuring rigorous debate. Issues surrounding the scientific inquiry of Freud's theory of repression are further discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)361-362
    Number of pages2
    JournalReview of General Psychology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


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