Elizabeth Loftus speaks at TEDGlobal 2013
Prof. Loftus recently spoke about her memory research at the TEDGlobal 2013 Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. “I don’t study when people forget,” she says. “I study when people remember things that didn’t happen. I study false memories.” The issue comes up often in courts, which highly value witness testimony. In a survey of 300 cases of wrongful conviction, where a person was later exonerated of a crime, three-quarters of them had been incarcerated due to faulty human memory. “Many people believe that memory works like recording device,” says Loftus. “But decades of research has shown that’s not the case. Memory ... is more like a Wikipedia page — you can go change it, but so can other people.” Read more about her TED talk here. TED, a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from the worlds of technology, entertainment and design.