Originally posted on TED Blog:
Elizabeth Loftus studies false memories. As she describes in her TED Talk, The fiction of memory, she has implanted erroneous memories of childhood trauma into adult study subjects as part of her work. She has pinpointed failures in eyewitness testimonies. She’s found that misinformation can reshape taste preferences. And, she’s found that people in stressful situations might not recall their experience as reliably as they might think.
[ted_talkteaser id=1826]Loftus’s research is provocative, challenging and as she acknowledges, raises deep ethical questions about when it might actually be right to implant false memories (for instance, what if you want your kids to like asparagus and turn their noses up at fatty foods? Could you, should you embed false memories in their small minds?) She obviously couldn’t compress her 40-plus years of research into an 18-minute talk; here are just some of the recent studies she’s been working on that shed more light on this difficult topic: