Remembering a Crime That You Didn’t Commit

mardi 10 mars 2015

Extrait de newyorker.com du 05.03.2015 : Remembering a Crime That You Didn’t Commit

In 1906, Hugo Münsterberg, the chair of the psychology laboratory at Harvard University and the president of the American Psychological Association, wrote in the Times Magazine about a case of false confession.
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Loftus and other researchers have since used similar techniques to create false memories of near-drownings, animal attacks, and encounters with Bugs Bunny at Disneyland (impossible, since Bugs is a Warner Bros. character).
Earlier this year, two forensic psychologists—Julia Shaw, of the University of Bedfordshire, and Stephen Porter, of the University of British Columbia—upped the ante. Writing in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science, they described a method for implanting false memories, not of getting lost in childhood but of committing a crime in adolescence.
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Shaw and Porter’s study also provides further evidence of the inaccuracy and malleability of human memory, evidence that is already compelling enough to have persuaded the state supreme courts of New Jersey and Massachusetts to mandate that judges instruct juries that eyewitness testimony is inherently unreliable.
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