Distorted Memories

During the 1970s, Psychologist professor and author Elizabeth Loftus began to grow skeptical about the idea of recalling repressed memories or even the ability to exactly recall past events.

False Memories

Since then, study after study has proven that recollection of facts and events can be distorted by suggestions and leading questions made after the event in question. Misinformation can be “planted” into the recollection of an observer. Elizabeth Loftus’ 1979 book “Eyewitness Testimony” shows the implications of “the misinformation effect” and, as a result of the ensuing controversy, she wrote that “the unreliability of eyewitness identification evidence poses one of the most serious problems in the administration of criminal justice and civil litigation.” She has been involved in many legal cases including “recovered memories” and provided insight into how false memories might form in real life settings, and stressed the unreliability of recovered memory. “In real life, as well as in experiments, people can come to believe things that never really happened” (Loftus, 1979).

Just Because You Believe It…

According to Loftus, we believe that our recollection of a traumatic event is accurate, but, it may have been shaped by a leading question or false information. It may have been altered by subsequent experiences, or it may have been altered by our current emotions or ideas. But, because of its emotional significance, we appear to remember it vividly. Just because we believe something with all our hearts, doesn’t make it true.

Elizabeth Loftus was the highest-ranked woman in a scientifically qualified ranking of the 20th century’s most important psychologists, and is acknowledged as an authority on the subject of constructed false memory.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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