Saturday, August 16, 2014

Elizabeth Loftus - The Memory Factory

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).

The Memory Factory

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)


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