Just how reliable can our memory for events be?

Dr Sarah Henderson

Thursday, December 10 2015 at 7:30PM

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35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Dr Sarah Henderson

What's the talk about?

We know how important eyewitnesses can be in the legal system; having someone who directly witnessed an event and can give first hand knowledge of exactly what happened is invaluable at all stages of an investigation. However a key question that sometimes gets overlooked is just how reliable is memory?

Witnesses can be genuine, confident but still inaccurate. Issues such as stress, questioning styles, the passage of time, and the influence of other sources can contaminate our memories. In this talk we’ll see how easily memories can be distorted, and the implications of this.

Sarah Henderson is a Senior Lecturer of Psychology in the School of Applied Social Studies at The Robert Gordon University. Her research interests include the effects oftress and questioning styles on memory, along with other aspects of forensic psychology.