The Lost In The Mall Technique
- Year Conducted: 1995
- Parties Involved: Dr. Elizabeth Loftus
Psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Loftus was the architect of the “Lost in the Mall Technique.” She successfully proved how false memories can be planted in someone’s brain. During the 1990s, she tested her concept on 24 participants. She told them all short narratives describing childhood events. Each was told 4 different stories and claimed each one had been verified by their family members. However, three were true stories while one was false.
The false story involved how a participant had been lost in a shopping mall for several hours. Loftus is a highly respected professor at the University of California, Irvine. Her work in psychology throughout her career is still discussed in psychology courses. However, studies on humans like this are naturally controversial for many reasons. Her psychology peers claim that exposing people to a traumatizing event that never happened was unnecessary and a form of psychological torture.