Elizabeth Loftus-TAM 9-July 2011.JPG
Many people believe that memory works like a recording device. You just record the information, then you call it up and play it back when you want to answer questions or identify images. But decades of work in psychology has shown that this just isn’t true. Our memories are constructive. They’re reconstructive. Memory works a little bit more like a Wikipedia page: You can go in there and change it, but so can other people.

—Elizabeth Loftus

How do you think memory works? Like a series of still photographs, or a video recording? Or is it like a play: inspired by real events but with some fiction as well? In this pathway you will learn about how memories are actively constructed and reconstructed. As you make your way through this learning pathway, consider how you can apply your new knowledge to enhance your own memory, from memorizing directions or lists of items you need to purchase at the grocery store, to studying more effectively as you pursue your academic goals.



Rajiv Jhangiani provides a brief orientation to this learning pathway on memory.



By the end of this learning pathway you should be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the two types of amnesia
  • Discuss the unreliability of eyewitness testimony
  • Discuss encoding failure
  • Discuss the various memory errors
  • Compare and contrast the two types of interference
  • Recognize and apply memory-enhancing strategies
  • Recognize and apply effective study techniques