Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Malleable Memories

William Saletan of
Slate has begun an eight-part series on the work of famed memory researcher Elizabeth Loftus.

Part I, The Ministry of Truth, recounts a memory experiment Slate conducted: readers were shown photos of four actual news events and one faked event and asked to comment on what they remembered. Many "remembered" the events that never happened. Next they were told that four of the events were real and one was faked. Many chose one of the real events as the fake and continued to "remember" the false one.

Part II, Removable Truths, begins profiling Professor Loftus. Still to come:

I'll fill in those links after the articles appear. [June 25: Just remembered to do this!] In the meantime, if you'd like to read more about Loftus, here is a profile from the Association of Psychological Science Observer: Inside the Psychologist's Studio: The Road Taken.

For a deeper analysis of Loftus's work, see Do Justice and Let the Sky Fall: Elizabeth F. Loftus and Her Contributions to Science, Law, and Academic Freedom (Maryanne Garry & Harlene Hayne eds., 2006), BF109.L64 E45 2006 at Classified Stacks. One of the articles in this volume is Incorporating Elizabeth Loftus's Research on Memory into Reforms to Proect the Innocent, by Prof. Jacqueline McMurtrie, Director of the Innocence Project Northwest Clinic.

No comments: