Inside the Psychologist’s Studio: Elizabeth Loftus

Elizabeth Loftus, Past President of APS, is an internationally recognized expert in the study of human memory, particularly the malleability of memories. Her extensive research shows that memory is highly susceptible to distortion and manipulation, and that people can vividly recall events that never happened. Her research on false memory, the reliability of eyewitness reports, and memories “recovered” through therapy has affected how law enforcement, courts, and psychologists consider eyewitness testimony. Loftus is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and has received the highest scientific honors for her work.

Loftus is interviewed by noted social psychologist, writer, and longtime friend Carol Tavris, author of several books including, with Elliot Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts.

See more interviews with legends of psychological science here.


How does Loftus account for the numbers of victims of priests who did not come forward because they did not “remember”, given her rejection of the possibility of this phenomenon? The research on interrogation actually sounds like it replicates the abuse that disrupts accurate remembering of sexual abuse.