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.
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.
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 Works Cited