Myth of Recovered Memory

Irvine -- In the continuing sex scandal in the Catholic Church, new victims are showing up regularly in the media, claiming abuse from priests, some asserting they have only now recovered long-suppressed memories.

A newly arrived UCI distinguished professor disputes the whole notion of "recovered memories". UCI psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, the top specialist on the topic and a defense witness in many high-profile cases, now newly situated in the UCI School of Social Ecology, expounds on her research into recovered memory on today's edition of KUCI's Subversity program with Dan Tsang.

The show airs from 4-5 p.m. on KUCI, 88.9 fm in Orange County, and is Web-cast at the same time via A digitized version of the show will posted later this week on the Subversity Web site, where many past shows are archived: Click on: Subversity RealAudio Archive.

Listeners can call (949) 824-5824 to chat with Prof. Loftus or send e-mail to during the show.

Online Resources:

Orange County Register story on Loftus:
War & Remembrance

The Guide articles on Recovered Memory:
Clearer Memory [editorial]

Mangled Memories

Loftus' UCI web site:

Loftus' research articles:

False Memory Syndrome Foundation:

"Issues in Child Abuse Accusations" [e-Journal]

"The Dark Truth About the 'Dark Tunnels of McMartin' "

Loftus Bio:

Elizabeth Loftus is Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Psychology & Social Behavior and Criminology, Law and Society in the UCI School of Social Ecology. She was formerly Professor of Psychology and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Washington, Seattle. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. Since then, she has published 20 books and over 350 scientific articles. Her 4th book, Eyewitness Testimony, won a National Media Award (Distinguished Contribution) from the American Psychological Foundation. One of her most widely read books, "The Myth of Repressed Memory" (co-authored with Katherine Ketcham) was published by St. Martin's Press and has been translated into Dutch, Taiwanese, French, German, Japanese and other foreign languages.

Loftus has been an expert witness or consultant in hundreds of cases, including the McMartin PreSchool Molestation case, the Hillside Strangler, the Abscam cases, the trial of Oliver North, the trial of the officers accused in the Rodney King beating, the Menendez brothers, the Michael Jackson case, the Bosnian War trials in the Hague, the Oklahoma Bombing case, and the trial of the Marines accused of culpable negligence when they severed the cables of a skil-lift while flying in the Italian Alps. Loftus also she has worked on numerous cases involving allegations of "repressed memories", such as those involving George Franklin of San Mateo, California, Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago, Gary Ramona of Napa, California, and Jacob Beard accused of the "Rainbow Murders" in West Virginia.

Loftus's research of the last 20 years has focused on human memory, eyewitness testimony and also on courtroom procedure. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation. In 1983, she was invited to present this work to the Royal Society of London. She has received four honorary doctorates for her research, the first in 1982 from Miami University (Ohio), the second in 1990 from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and the third in 1994 from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York - an honorary doctorate of laws. Her 4th honorary doctorate, from the University of Portsmouth in England, was awarded in l998. She served as the 1984 President of the Western Psychological Association, as the 1985 President of the American Psychology-Law Society (Div 41 of APA), and as the 1988 President of Division 3 (Experimental) of the APA. Finally, she was President of the American Psychological Society during l998-l999.

In addition to the Honorary degrees, Loftus has received numerous awards and honors for her research. In 1995 she received an award from the American Academy of Forensic Psychology - their Distinguished Contributions to Forensic Psychology Award. In l996 she received the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology (AAAPP) Award for Distinguished Contribution to Basic and Applied Scientific Psychology. In 1997 she received the American Psychological Society, James McKeen Cattell Fellow ("for a career of significant intellectual contributions to the science of psychology in the area of applied psychological research"). More recently, she is to receive the William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society, 2001 (for "ingeniously and rigorously designed research studies that yielded clear objective evidence on difficult and controversial questions.")

Thanx for listening.


Daniel C. Tsang
Host, Subversity, now Tuesdays, 4-5 p.m.
KUCI, 88.9 FM and Web-cast live via 
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Daniel Tsang, KUCI, PO Box 4362, Irvine CA 92616
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