Understanding evidence is critical in a court of law – and it is just as important for critical thinking.
Elizabeth Loftus, a pioneering psychologist, made a landmark contribution to both these areas in Eyewitness Testimony, a trail-blazing work that undermines much of the decision-making made by judges and juries by pointing out how flawed eyewitness testimony actually is. Reporting the results of an eye-opening series of experiments and trials, Loftus explores the ways in which – unbeknownst to the witnesses themselves – memory can be distorted and become highly unreliable.
Much of Loftus’s work is based on expert use of the critical thinking skill of interpretation. Her work not only highlights multiple problems of definition with regard to courtroom testimony, but also focuses throughout on how best we can understand the meaning of the available evidence. Eyewitness Testimony is arguably the best place in the Macat library to begin any investigation of how to use and understand interpretation.
Table of Contents
Ways in to the text
Who was Elizabeth Loftus?
What does Eyewitness Testimony Say?
Why does Eyewitness Testimony Matter?
Section 1: Influences
Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context
Module 2: Academic Context
Module 3: The Problem
Module 4: The Author's Contribution
Section 2: Ideas
Module 5: Main Ideas
Module 6: Secondary Ideas
Module 7: Achievement
Module 8: Place in the Author's Work
Section 3: Impact
Module 9: The First Responses
Module 10: The Evolving Debate
Module 11: Impact and Influence Today
Module 12: Where Next?
Glossary of Terms
People Mentioned in the Text
Dr Bill Jenkins holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Michigan. He is currently co-chair of the Department of Psychology at Mercer University.