Friday, June 18, 2021

The Malleability of Memory- Elizabeth Loftus A Book Review

The Malleability of 

Memory: A conversation 

With Elizabeth Loftus


 Howard Burton



Geoffrey W. Sutton

This is an informative short overview of Elizabeth Loftus’ memory research presented as an interview. The informed host asks pertinent questions to which Loftus responds with answers about her memory findings as well as   The personal context of how she got ideas and her need for protection because of death threats.

Loftus’ work has had considerable impact on the justice system. Thanks to her laboratory studies and the work of many psychological scientists, we understand that our memories can contain errors brought about by responding to questions or rethinking about past events.

In addition, we can create false memories, which appear real and true but are nevertheless false. False memories can be purposely created by someone else or by ourselves.

At one point, her work was particularly challenging when some psychotherapists were encouraging patients to recall repressed memories. Sometimes the memories led to accusations of criminal activity, which had devastating effects on the accused. Loftus’ work challenged the idea of repressed memories and the role of clinicians in  creating false or distorted memories.

I recommend The Malleability of Memory for those wanting a quick summary of Loftus'  memory research.

For more, see Elizabeth Loftus' books on memory.

Also, Elizabeth Loftus on Google.


Burton, H. (2020). The Malleability of Memory: A conversation with Elizabeth Loftus. The Ideas Roadshow.

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