Elizabeth Loftus

October 16, 1944 - Present

Education background

Elizabeth had wanted to be a math teacher but while attending UCLA she discovered psychology and recieved her BA in math and psychology in 1966. In 1968, she applied to Sanford and while there, she became interested in long term memory. She recieved her M.A. in 1967 and her Ph. D in 1970, both from Sanford. Elizabeth recieved a job offering at University of Washington in Seattle. She is still presently a psychology professor at the University.

Contribution

Loftus conducted investigations of how the mind classifies and remembers information. She researched "traumatically repressed memories" and eyewitness accounts. This research led her to stories of sexual abuse and she also begin defending accused offenders. In 1974, she testified in over 200 trails as an "expert witness". She believed that false memories could be triggered, suggested, implanted, or created in the mind. She testified in the trials of mass murderers Ted Bundy and George Franklin.

Interesting facts

Elizabeth Loftus has published 19 books and writen almost 200 articles. She has also made an apperance on the Oprah Whinfrey Show. She is one of the most sought after speakers for psychology and is a spokesperson for the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF).

Improtance of her research to modern psychology

Elizabeth is the center of a controversial phenomenon is psychology today. Her work is sometimes compared to the witchcraft trails; a rise in reported memories of childhood sexually repressed memories raised many questions. Loftus saw this as an opportunity to take her memory research further. Her criticism of repressin has altered cornerstones of psychoanalysis.