Elizabeth Loftus

“When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.”
—Mark Twain

Elizabeth Loftus is a renowned psychologist who specializes in memory, she focuses her theories and research on the premise that memories are not always accurate, and that repressed memories can be false memories created by the brain.

Loftus theorized that our brains are highly suggestible and can sometimes makeup memories to fill in gaps of information that is not known to us.

Elizabeth suggests that perhaps repressed memories are not always real repression of actual events, but rather created from a combination of waking and dreaming situations.

Elizabeth has spent many decades researching how much of our memories are real and how much we create from information gathered after the event has taken place.

Although Loftus has conducted hundreds of experiments here is a list of some of her most well-known studies:

Semantic Integration of Verbal Information into a Visual Memory (1978)

Reactions to blatantly contradictory information (1979)

The formation of false memories (1995)

eyewitness testimony? The only thing i witness is your false memories -  Futurama Fry | Meme Generator
Courtesy of memegenerator.net

Loftus began to question how accurate eyewitness testimony was.

The results from her experiments led her to start the very study of eyewitness testimony, showing how it can often be unreliable and that memory can be altered by a simple suggestion of misinformation.

She has testified in over 200 trials because of her expertise and helped save many innocent lives. Her work has had a huge impact on the judicial system and help develop the most efficient ways to get accurate information from witnesses by ensure police officers don’t ask leading questions.

Having won many prestigious awards, her work has also won her many critics. Even still, there is no denying her work has contributed enormously to how we view memory in all its fragility and complexity.

After reading all of that, how much do you think of your memories as a child are accurate and how much of those memories are created from post event information?

I think if you thought too much about it you begin to doubt everything?😂

So for now I’m happy to believe I met a fairy in the forest when I was seven years old, how about you?

For more information on Loftus’s study check out this video courtesy of YouTube.

Author: aislingr35

I am a 32 year old mature student at UL, studying Digital culture and Communication with Psychology. I am blogging about my experience of studying, and what new skills I learn along the way during this semester.

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