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Elizabeth F. Loftus Takes a Trip to Millsaps

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Photo Credits Given to Dr. Elizabeth F. Loftus

By Asia Allen

Events Editor of The P+W

Her accomplishments in the science world has given her the title of  “the Beyonce of Research”. Even though you might not see her on your instagram feed avoiding the paparazzi like the famous popstar, her work is famous and essential to science academia globally. She’s one of the highest ranked psychologists of our time, with an acceptance into the very prestigious Academy of Sciences.  Even her work is found in some Introductory Psychology textbooks you might have to read if you ever taken the class. With hard work, the Millsaps Psychology Department was able to welcome world renowned psychologist, Dr. Elizabeth F. Loftus to campus. This visit gave students an intimate closer look at Loftus’s overly- impressive resume and research.

Loftus recently lectured Millsaps students and professors of her study behind the structure of  ‘Memory Paradigms’. She has spent years of her career identifying and creating the research behind the creation of , ‘false truths and memories’, which she also describes as, “Misinformation Paradigms.”  Loftus explains that people acquire and accept misinformation that could even be found in trying to remember what you had for breakfast the day before. She concludes that misinformation is everywhere and could be interpreted through our thoughts, imaginations, and our unconscious dreams. She also describes the body having the capability of  reacting to these false truths people create create after believing them.

For example, Dr. Loftus describes a study of telling people a story on getting food poisoning after eating strawberry ice cream. After the study, Loftus explains that this story ‘assimilated’ in their minds and their preferences on the frozen dessert changed. Many in the case study did not eat as much strawberry ice cream after that. This little study even goes farther into the realm of crime scene investigations, where misinformation can be found when using witness to describe their testimonies. One thing is for sure, Loftus’ lecture had Millsaps students questioning if they correctly remembered what they ate earlier.

She continues to teach at Stanford University where her work continues to be used heavily today. In one lifetime,Dr. Elizabeth Loftus has created years-long research that helped understand the malleability of the human brain which can unlock incredible abilities. This can make you question: How much do you believe is the actual truth?