Dr. Elizabeth Loftus teaches at UC Irvine, and previously was at the University of Washington and several other schools. Loftus's primary field is the study of human memory.
Her experiments reveal how memories can be changed by things that we are told. Facts, ideas, suggestions and other post-event information can modify our memories. The legal field, so reliant on memories and "eyewitnesses," has been central in the memory research.
An outcome of her work, and the one that has made her most well-known, is her rejection of "repressed memories," generally in the realm of childhood abuse. Her 1996 book, The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse, helped put a lid on the satanic abuse hysteria of the 1980s and early 1990s. Unfortunately, it also marginalized the reality that trauma memories ARE sometimes repressed.
Loftus has made a LOT of her papers available online for free, a sample of which I will share below the video. She is also the author of Witness for the Defense: The Accused, the Eyewitness and the Expert Who Puts Memory on Trial (1992).
Published on Aug 11, 2014
One of the biggest myths in the history of psychology is that memory is like a video tape that can be played back for everyone to see what "really happened." In this lecture, presented at The Amaz!ng Meeting 2014 in Las Vegas, Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, one of the world's leading experts on memory, shows how we all edit our memories from the moment they are formed to the last time we recall them. That editing process is based on a number of emotional, psychological, and social factors that shape our memories.
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Here are some of her publications - there are many more at her site (and here).
CLICK ON LINKS BELOW TO SEE or DOWNLOAD SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (if asked for password just click OK three times)
- Read Profile in Nature Magazine (2013)
- Read about APF Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science (2013)
- Watch Ted Talk at TedGlobal 2013
- Read CNN profile: Life's Work (2013)
- Read profile in Stanford Magazine (2012)
- Read The Memory Doctor in Slate by Will Saletan about the work of Elizabeth Loftus (2010) Winner of the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award for Online reporting.
- Listen to Audio Interview of Elizabeth Loftus conducted by National Academy
- Elizabeth Loftus - Brief Biography
- Jane Doe Case - article by Tavris (2008)
- Garry & Hayne's Book (and OLD PHOTO) on Elizabeth Loftus 's life, work, and more.....
- Read chapter on early days with Elizabeth Loftus written by Geoff Loftus (2007)
- Profile of Elizabeth Loftus in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, (2005)
- Article in LA Weekly by S. Abramsky, (2004), p 32-35
- Article in London Times by K. Sabbagh (2004)
- Article on the research of Elizabeth Loftus in OCRegister (2002)
- William James Award & Acceptance Speech (2001)
- Elizabeth Loftus - University of Washington Website (with more articles)
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS SINCE 2010
- Patihis, L., et al (2014) Are the Memory Wars Over? Psychological Science, 25, 519-530
- Patihis, L., Frenda, S.J. et al. (2013) False memories in highly superior autobiographical memory individuals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110, 20947-20952.
- Loftus, E.F. (2013) Eyewitness Testimony in the Lockerbie Bombing Case. Memory, 21, 584-590.
- Morgan, C.A., Southwick, S., et al (2013) Misinformation can influence memory for recently experienced, highly stressful events, International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 36, 11-17.
- Zhu, B;., Chen, C.., Loftus, E.F., Moyzis, R.K., Dong, Q., Lin, C. (2013) True but not false memories are associated with the HTR2A gene. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 106, 204-209.
- Kaasa, S. O., Cauffman, E., Clarke-Stewart, K.A.,& Loftus, E.F. (2013) False accusations in an investigative context. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 31, 574-592.
- Clifasefi, S.L., Bernstein, D.B., Mantonakis, A. & Loftus, E.F. (2013). “Queasy does it”: False alcohol beliefs and memories lead to diminished alcohol preferences. Acta Psychologica, 143, 14-19.
- Schacter, D.L.& Loftus, E.F.(2013) Memory and Law: What can Cognitive Neuroscience Contribute? Nature Neuroscience.16,119-123.
- Frenda, S. J., Knowles, E.D., Saletan, W.,& Loftus, E.F. (2013) False memories of fabricated political events. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 280-286.
- Zhu, B., Chen, C., Loftus, E.F., Lin, C.,& Dong, Q., (2013) DRM and misinformation false memories. Memory & Cognition, 41, 832-838.
- Mantonakis et al (2013) False beliefs can shape current consumption. Psychology, 4, 302-308.
- Patihis, L., Tingen, I.W., & Loftus, E.F. (2013) Memory myths. Catalyst, 23 (3), p 6-8
- Steblay, N.K. & Loftus, E.F. (2013) Eyewitness identification and the legal system. In Shafir, E. (Ed) The Behavioral Foundations of Public Policy. Princeton University Press.
- Newman, E.J. & Loftus, E.F. (2012) Clarkian Logic on Trial. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 260-263.
- Newman, E.J. & Loftus, E.F. (2012) Updating Ebbinghaus on the science of memory. Europe's Journal of Psychology,
- Foster, J.L., Huthwaite, T., Yesberg, J.A., Garry, M., & Loftus, E.F. (2012) Repetition....in the accuracy of eyewitnesses. Acta Psychologica, 139, 320-326.
- Zhu, B.., Chen, C., Loftus.... & Dong, Q. (2012) Brief exposure to misinformation can lead to long-term false memories, Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26, 301-307.
- Loftus, E.F. (2011) Intelligence gathering post 9/11. American Psychologist, 66, 532-541.
- Kaasa, S.O., Morris, E.K., & Loftus, E.F. (2011) Remembering why. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, 35-42.
- Nelson, K.J., Laney, C., Bowman-Fowler, N., Knowles, E., Davis, D., & Loftus, E.F. (2011) Change blindness can cause mistaken eyewitness identification. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 16, 62-74.
- Frenda, S.J, Nichols, R.M., & Loftus, E.F. (2011) Current issues and advances in misinformation research. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 20-23.
- Stark, C.E.L., Okado, Y., & Loftus, E.F. (2010) Imaging the reconstruction of true and false memories.... Learning and Memory, 17, 485-488.
- Newman, E.J., Berkowitz, S.R., Nelson, K.J., Garry, M. & Loftus, E.F. (2011) Attitudes about memory dampening drugs... Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, 675-681.
- Zhu, B., Chen, C. et al (2010) Individual Differences in false memory from misinformation:. Cognitive factors. Memory, 18, 543-555.
- Zhu, B., Chen, C., Loftus, E.F., Lin, C., He, Q., Chen, C., Moyzis, R.K., Lessard, J. & Dong, Q. (2010) Individual differences in false memory from misinformation: Personality characteristics, Personality and Individual Differences, 48, 889-894.
- Loftus, E.F. & Frenda, S.J. (2010) Bad theories can harm victims. (Review of The Trauma Myth) , Science, 327, 1329-1330.
- Goodman-Delahunty, J., Granhag, P.A., Hartwig, M. & Loftus, E.F. (2010) Insightful or wishful: Lawyers’ ability to predict case outcomes. Psychology, Public Policy & Law., 16, 133-157.
- Zhu, B., Chen, C., Loftus, E.F., Lin, C.,& Dong, Q. (2010) Treat and Trick: A new way to increase false memory. Applied Cognitive Psychology , 24, 1199-1208.