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The Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit is based at Goldsmiths, University of London, and is part of the Department of Psychology.

The research unit was established by Professor Chris French in 2000 to provide a focus for research activity in the area of Anomalistic Psychology.

In general terms, Anomalistic Psychology attempts to explain paranormal and related beliefs, and ostensibly paranormal experiences in terms of known or knowable psychological and physical factors. Read our introduction to Anomalistic Psychology for an overview of the field.

"Anomalistic Psychologists tend to start from the position that paranormal forces probably don't exist and that therefore we should be looking for other kinds of explanations, in particular the psychological explanations for those experiences that people typically label as paranormal." Videojug.

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The APRU is proud to be hosting...

Professor Elizabeth Loftus: The Memory Factory    

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When:     Wednesday, 25 March 2015 from 11 am to 12 pm 

Where:    The Great Hall, Richard Hoggart Building
                 Goldsmiths, University of London 
                 Lewisham Way 
                 SE14 6NW London
                 United Kingdom

Abstract

For at least a century, scientists have demonstrated the tricks memory can play. More recently, they have shown that people can be led to develop entire memories for events that never happened – “rich false memories”. People have been led to remember non-existent events from the recent past as well as non-existent events from their childhood. People can be led to falsely believe that they have had experiences that are rather bizarre or implausible. False memories, like true ones, also have consequences for people, affecting later thoughts, intentions, and behaviours. They can be readily planted in the minds of people who have distinctly superior memories. False memories look very much like true ones: they can be confidently told, detailed, and expressed with emotion. These findings have implications for the pursuit of justice in legal cases, for the practices of psychotherapists who listen to patients’ memories, and for everyday life.

Biography

Elizabeth Loftus is Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine, where she holds faculty positions in three departments. She has published 22 books (including the award winning Eyewitness Testimony) and 500 scientific articles. Her research of the last 30 years has focused on the malleability of human memory, for which she has been recognised with six honorary doctorates. The Review of General Psychology ranked Loftus #58 in their list of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century, the top ranked woman. She received the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation (for “extraordinary contributions to our understanding of memory during the past 40 years that are remarkable for their creativity and impact”) in 2013.

The doors will open at 10.30 am and the talk will start promptly at 11 am.

Please print out your ticket, or bring an electronic copy, and bring your Goldsmiths student or staff ID card.


The Skeptic Magazine (UK)

Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit Head, Chris French, is Special Advisor and former Editor-in-Chief of The Skeptic Magazine, the UK's foremost and longest-running sceptical magazine.

Details of the magazine including how to subscribe and how to contribute articles can be found on the Skeptic Magazine's website. The magazine can also be found on Twitter (@theskepticmag) and Facebook.

The Skeptic is able to obtain support and direction from an international Editorial Advisory Board comprised of highly respected individuals noted for expertise in their specific fields including: James Randi, Prof. Elisabeth Loftus, Prof. Richard Dawkins, Dr Susan Blackmore, Prof. Brian Cox, Prof. Edzard Ernst, Dr Richard Wiseman, Dr Simon Singh, Prof. Richard McNally, Prof. James Alcock, Stephen Fry, Derren Brown, Philip Escoffey, Robin Ince, Tim Minchin, Wendy Grossman, Phil Plait and many others.

Guidelines for submitting content to The Skeptic can be found here. Alternatively, please email digest [at] skeptic.org.uk.

 


Content last modified: 10 Mar 2015

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