Headshot of Elizabeth Loftus wearing green jumper with necklace smiling to camera

Doctor of Science

An eminent psychologist who has significantly advanced our understanding of memory.

Elizabeth Loftus is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine, holding faculty positions in the Department of Psychological Science, the Department of Criminology, Law & Society, and the School of Law.

Since receiving a PhD in Psychology from Stanford University, she has published over 20 books and over 600 scientific articles featuring research focused on the malleability of human memory: how, why and when our memories can be changed by new experiences.  She shows how experience can contaminate memory, leading to transformations, alterations and even distortions. 

Elizabeth has been recognised for her research with seven honorary doctorates and election to numerous prestigious societies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. 

She is past president of the Association for Psychological Science, the Western Psychological Association, and the American Psychology-Law Society, and has received more than a dozen major awards for her scientific work, most notably the two top awards from the Association for Psychological Science (the James McKeen Cattell Fellow and the William James Fellow), the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Award for Applications of Psychology, the Gold Medal Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science from the American Psychological Foundation, the Grawemeyer Prize in Psychology, and Nature's prestigious John Maddox Prize. 

In a list topped by Freud, Skinner, and Piaget of the 100 most eminent 20th century psychologists, published by the Review of General Psychology, Dr Loftus ranked 58th and was the top-ranked woman.

Her expertise in the field of memory has led her to be called as an expert witness or consultant in hundreds of legal cases. These include the prosecution of officers accused in the Rodney King beating, the Hague Bosnian War trials, the Oklahoma Bombing case, and litigation involving Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby and Martha Stewart.