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Court says Loftus actions "beyond the pale"  By John Thomas - Editor Emeritus The National Psychologist  - Vol. 16, No. 3 May/June 2007  Pages 1 & 5. 

Excerpts: "The California Supreme Court said that actions Elizabeth Loftus, PhD., Took to discredit a case study article describing repressed memories may be "considered beyond the pale" and ordered a trial to consider whether those actions constitute an invasion of privacy. The court held that there is sufficient evidence that Loftus misrepresented herself to a young woman's foster mother in order to obtain confidential and intimate details about repressed memories of alleged sexual abuse to warrant a trial on privacy invasion issues. "We believe it is important to recognize that there are at lease some types of misrepresentations that are of such an especially egregious and offensive nature   and are quite distinguishable from the types of ruses that ordinarily may be employed in gathering news   that they properly may be considered 'beyond the pale' . . . even when the misrepresentation is made to friends or relatives of the subject of an inquiry who are under no legal obligation not to reveal private information," the court found in a 5 2 ruling.

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Joyanna Silberg, PhD., of Baltimore, executive vice president of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence, said the ruling "supports the discipline of psychology by bolstering ethical and scientific research guidelines with the added authority of law." The Leadership Council has filed an amicus brief supporting Taus. Silberg said the behavior Loftus is accused of is outside the boundaries of any acceptable research protocol. "There are ways to do scientifically acceptable research even on case studies, but not by defrauding people to gain confidential information surreptitiously," she added."

The National Psychologist is an independent bi-monthly newspaper for behavioral healthcare practitioners.

 

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