I tried to read this study, but my access to Psychological Science has a 1-year delay. ScienceDaily has a report on a study which, without going into too much detail, finds that there are two types of women who recover memories of past sexual abuse. The first group recovers memories slowly through suggestive therapy, and the second group recovers memories all at once. The research finds that women who spontaneously recover memories can forget items in memory tests wuite easily, while women who slowly recover memories who were asked to remember a list of words will add related but previously unincluded words. (For instance, if “night” and “bed” were on the original list, they may add “sleep.”)
The researchers stated that the group slowly regained knowledge of childhood abuse are more likely to be creating the story. But I think this study is a little too rigid.
The article presumes that all people who spontaneously forget remember things accurately. It also presumes that memories can be repressed. I’m not sure that either of these things are farfetched, but it’s hard to tell from the press release.
But, just to exhibit the anti-repression side, Here’s Elizabeth Loftus: