Exposing Memory Distortions
According to Elizabeth Loftus, distinguished professor of social ecology at UC Irvine, there have been 201 DNA exonerations of people who spent 5 to 10 years in prison due to wrongful accusations based on faulty memory. Loftus discussed her investigations on the malleability of the human memory on Tuesday, May 29 at the 17th Annual Howard Schneiderman Memorial Bioethics Lecture at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center.
According to Loftus’s research, which has primarily focused on the accuracy of eyewitness testimonies and childhood recollections, memories can be distorted by suggestive influences. In addition, entirely false memories can be implanted in people’s minds. Some practices that subtly suggest faulty memories include police investigations and clinical techniques that are designed to help patients recover their past.
‘My concern with former prisoners is that they were innocent. Somebody