Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Marital Therapy and Eyewitness Testimony

Here is an excellent reason (from a new blogger in the mental health field) why we need the videotape to know exactly what CNN executive Eason Jordon said at the Davos conference and in what context:

And, speaking of videotapes and eyewitness reports: I used to work in a clinic that videotaped all therapy sessions for training purposes. I saw many couples (oh, couples therapy--now, there's a mighty hot kitchen!). Over and over, I thought I heard one or the other member of the couple misrepresenting what had been said in a session. And, in such cases, I had the extremely satisfying option of saying, "Well, shall we look at the videotape to see what was actually said?" It was often a real mind-blower for the client to see how he/she had misperceived statements made only a few moments earlier. We all do this to a certain extent, constantly editing our memories in one direction or another. But some people do it to a much greater extent than others, and some people do it much more in one situation or another.

Certainly, we would all like the satisfaction of really knowing exactly what Jordan said, because until we do, the "he-said, she-said" aspect of this will not go away. As the neo-neocon points out, eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable--especially when it involves something both sides are intensely emotional about.

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