How is it possible for us to believe in something that we "only" imagined? What are we to make of those who claim to have been abducted by aliens, to have multiple personalities, or to have recovered long-lost memories of childhood abuse? This edited volume applies thoughtful, scholarly analysis to topics more typically found in tabloids. Its subject is how we may come to believe in the reality of phenomena that spring from our imaginations, and the function of such imaginings in our emotional lives.
Believed-In Imaginings presents the varied perspectives of distinguished thinkers from the fields of psychology, anthropology, and sociology. They discuss conceptual issues such as how the terms imagining, believing, and remembering are defined, as well as developmental phenomena, such as children's attachment to the Tooth Fairy and transitional objects in times of need. Other chapters investigate topics ranging from the nature of hypnotic subjects' belief in the contrafactual, to the role of dream elements in believed-in imaginings and the controversial subject of recovered memories of abuse.
This provocative and fascinating book will appeal to clinical as well as theoretical psychologists and sociologists, and to any reader interested in exploring the topics of memory and the imagination.