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[英语演讲] [TED演讲] 伊丽莎白•洛塔斯: 记忆的虚构

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发表于 2013-10-9 14:27 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
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Memory-manipulation expert Elizabeth Loftus explains how our memories might not be what they seem -- and how implanted memories can have real-life repercussions.
Why you should listen to her:
Elizabeth Loftus altered the course of legal history by revealing that memory is not only unreliable, but also mutable. Since the 1970s, Loftus has created an impressive body of scholarly work and has appeared as an expert witness  in hundreds of courtrooms, bolstering the cases of defendants facing criminal charges based on eyewitness testimony, and debunking “recovered memory” theories popular at the time, as in her book The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse  (with Katherine Ketcham).
Since then, Loftus has dedicated herself to discovering how false memories can affect our daily lives, leading her to surprising therapeutic applications for memory modification -- including controlling obesity by implanting patients with preferences for healthy foods.
心理学家伊丽莎白•洛塔斯是研究记忆的。更确切地说,她研究错误的记忆,当人们记得根本没发生的事时,或者记得根本不同的事时的错误记忆。错误记忆的发生比你想得要常见得多,洛塔斯将分享一些令人吃惊的故事和统计结果,并提出一些需要我们思考的、重要的道德问题。                                       
Memory-manipulation expert Elizabeth Loftus explains how our memories might not be what they seem -- and how implanted memories can have real-life repercussions.
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I'd like to tell you about a legal case that I worked oninvolving a man named Steve Titus.

Titus was a restaurant manager.He was 31 years old, he lived in Seattle, Washington,he was engaged to Gretchen,about to be married, she was the love of his life.And one night, the couple went outfor a romantic restaurant meal.They were on their way home,and they were pulled over by a police officer.You see, Titus' car sort of resembleda car that was driven earlier in the eveningby a man who raped a female hitchhiker,and Titus kind of resembled that rapist.So the police took a picture of Titus,they put it in a photo lineup,they later showed it to the victim,and she pointed to Titus' photo.She said, "That one's the closest."The police and the prosecution proceeded with a trial,and when Steve Titus was put on trial for rape,the rape victim got on the standand said, "I'm absolutely positive that's the man."And Titus was convicted.He proclaimed his innocence,his family screamed at the jury,his fiancée collapsed on the floor sobbing,and Titus is taken away to jail.

So what would you do at this point?What would you do?Well, Titus lost complete faith in the legal system,and yet he got an idea.He called up the local newspaper,he got the interest of an investigative journalist,and that journalist actually found the real rapist,a man who ultimately confessed to this rape,a man who was thought to have committed 50 rapesin that area,and when this information was given to the judge,the judge set Titus free.

And really, that's where this case should have ended.It should have been over.Titus should have thought of this as a horrible year,a year of accusation and trial, but over.

It didn't end that way.Titus was so bitter.He'd lost his job. He couldn't get it back.He lost his fiancée.She couldn't put up with his persistent anger.He lost his entire savings,and so he decided to file a lawsuitagainst the police and others whom he feltwere responsible for his suffering.

And that's when I really started working on this case,trying to figure outhow did that victim go from"That one's the closest"to "I'm absolutely positive that's the guy."

Well, Titus was consumed with his civil case.He spent every waking moment thinking about it,and just days before he was to have his day in court,he woke up in the morning,doubled over in pain,and died of a stress-related heart attack.He was 35 years old.

So I was asked to work on Titus' casebecause I'm a psychological scientist.I study memory. I've studied memory for decades.And if I meet somebody on an airplane --this happened on the way over to Scotland --if I meet somebody on an airplane,and we ask each other, "What do you do? What do you do?"and I say "I study memory,"they usually want to tell me how they have trouble remembering names,or they've got a relative who's got Alzheimer'sor some kind of memory problem,but I have to tell themI don't study when people forget.I study the opposite: when they remember,when they remember things that didn't happenor remember things that were differentfrom the way they really were.I study false memories.

Unhappily, Steve Titus is not the only personto be convicted based on somebody's false memory.In one project in the United States,information has been gatheredon 300 innocent people,300 defendants who were convicted of crimes they didn't do.They spent 10, 20, 30 years in prison for these crimes,and now DNA testing has proventhat they are actually innocent.And when those cases have been analyzed,three quarters of themare due to faulty memory, faulty eyewitness memory.

Well, why?Like the jurors who convicted those innocent peopleand the jurors who convicted Titus,many people believe that memoryworks like a recording device.You just record the information,then you call it up and play it backwhen you want to answer questions or identify images.But decades of work in psychologyhas shown that this just isn't true.Our memories are constructive.They're reconstructive.Memory works a little bit more like a Wikipedia page:You can go in there and change it, but so can other people.I first started studying this constructive memory processin the 1970s.I did my experiments that involved showing peoplesimulated crimes and accidentsand asking them questions about what they remember.In one study, we showed people a simulated accidentand we asked people,how fast were the cars going when they hit each other?And we asked other people,how fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?And if we asked the leading "smashed" question,the witnesses told us the cars were going faster,and moreover, that leading "smashed" questioncaused people to be more likely to tell usthat they saw broken glass in the accident scenewhen there wasn't any broken glass at all.In another study, we showed a simulated accidentwhere a car went through an intersection with a stop sign,and if we asked a question that insinuated it was a yield sign,many witnesses told us they remember seeing a yield signat the intersection, not a stop sign.

And you might be thinking, well, you know,these are filmed events,they are not particularly stressful.Would the same kind of mistakes be madewith a really stressful event?In a study we published just a few months ago,we have an answer to this question,because what was unusual about this studyis we arranged for people to have a very stressful experience.The subjects in this studywere members of the U.S. militarywho were undergoing a harrowing training exerciseto teach them what it's going to be like for themif they are ever captured as prisoners of war.And as part of this training exercise,these soldiers are interrogated in an aggressive,hostile, physically abusive fashion for 30 minutesand later on they have to try to identifythe person who conducted that interrogation.And when we feed them suggestive informationthat insinuates it's a different person,many of them misidentify their interrogator,often identifying someone who doesn't even remotelyresemble the real interrogator.

And so what these studies are showingis that when you feed people misinformationabout some experience that they may have had,you can distort or contaminate or change their memory.

Well out there in the real world,misinformation is everywhere.We get misinformationnot only if we're questioned in a leading way,but if we talk to other witnesseswho might consciously or inadvertently feed ussome erroneous information,or if we see media coverage about some event we might have experienced,all of these provide the opportunityfor this kind of contamination of our memory.

In the 1990s, we began to seean even more extreme kind of memory problem.Some patients were going into therapy with one problem --maybe they had depression, an eating disorder --and they were coming out of therapywith a different problem.Extreme memories for horrific brutalizations,sometimes in satanic rituals,sometimes involving really bizarre and unusual elements.One woman came out of psychotherapybelieving that she'd endured yearsof ritualistic abuse, where she was forced into a pregnancyand that the baby was cut from her belly.But there were no physical scarsor any kind of physical evidencethat could have supported her story.And when I began looking into these cases,I was wondering,where do these bizarre memories come from?And what I found is that most of these situationsinvolved some particular form of psychotherapy.And so I asked,were some of the things going on in this psychotherapy --like the imagination exercisesor dream interpretation,or in some cases hypnosis,or in some cases exposure to false information --were these leading these patientsto develop these very bizarre,unlikely memories?And I designed some experimentsto try to study the processes that were being usedin this psychotherapy so I could studythe development of these very rich false memories.

In one of the first studies we did,we used suggestion,a method inspired by the psychotherapy we saw in these cases,we used this kind of suggestionand planted a false memorythat when you were a kid, five or six years old,you were lost in a shopping mall.You were frightened. You were crying.You were ultimately rescued by an elderly personand reunited with the family.And we succeeded in planting this memoryin the minds of about a quarter of our subjects.And you might be thinking, well,that's not particularly stressful.But we and other investigators have plantedrich false memories of things that weremuch more unusual and much more stressful.So in a study done in Tennessee,researchers planted the false memorythat when you were a kid, you nearly drownedand had to be rescued by a life guard.And in a study done in Canada,researchers planted the false memorythat when you were a kid,something as awful as being attacked by a vicious animalhappened to you,succeeding with about half of their subjects.And in a study done in Italy,researchers planted the false memory,when you were a kid, you witnessed demonic possession.

I do want to add that it might seemlike we are traumatizing these experimental subjectsin the name of science,but our studies have gone through thorough evaluationby research ethics boardsthat have made the decisionthat the temporary discomfort that someof these subjects might experience in these studiesis outweighed by the importance of this problemfor understanding memory processesand the abuse of memory that is going onin some places in the world.

Well, to my surprise,when I published this work and began to speak outagainst this particular brand of psychotherapy,it created some pretty bad problems for me:hostilities, primarily from the repressed memory therapists,who felt under attack,and by the patients whom they had influenced.I had sometimes armed guards at speechesthat I was invited to give,people trying to drum up letter-writing campaigns to get me fired.But probably the worstwas I suspected that a womanwas innocent of abusethat was being claimed by her grown daughter.She accused her mother of sexual abusebased on a repressed memory.And this accusing daughter had actually allowed her storyto be filmed and presented in public places.I was suspicious of this story,and so I started to investigate,and eventually found information that convinced methat this mother was innocent.I published an exposé on the case,and a little while later, the accusing daughterfiled a lawsuit.Even though I'd never mentioned her name,she sued me for defamation and invasion of privacy.And I went through nearly five yearsof dealing with this messy, unpleasant litigation,but finally, finally, it was over and I could reallyget back to my work.In the process, however, I became partof a disturbing trend in Americawhere scientists are being suedfor simply speaking out on matters of great public controversy.

When I got back to my work, I asked this question:if I plant a false memory in your mind,does it have repercussions?Does it affect your later thoughts,your later behaviors?Our first study planted a false memorythat you got sick as a child eating certain foods:hard-boiled eggs, dill pickles, strawberry ice cream.And we found that once we planted this false memory,people didn't want to eat the foods as muchat an outdoor picnic.The false memories aren't necessarily bad or unpleasant.If we planted a warm, fuzzy memoryinvolving a healthy food like asparagus,we could get people to want to eat asparagus more.And so what these studies are showingis that you can plant false memoriesand they have repercussionsthat affect behavior long after the memories take hold.

Well, along with this abilityto plant memories and control behaviorobviously come some important ethical issues,like, when should we use this mind technology?And should we ever ban its use?Therapists can't ethically plant false memoriesin the mind of their patientseven if it would help the patient,but there's nothing to stop a parentfrom trying this out on their overweight or obese teenager.And when I suggested this publicly,it created an outcry again."There she goes. She's advocating that parents lie to their children."

Hello, Santa Claus. (Laughter)

I mean, another way to think about this is,which would you rather have,a kid with obesity, diabetes, shortened lifespan,all the things that go with it,or a kid with one little extra bit of false memory?I know what I would choose for a kid of mine.

But maybe my work has made me different from most people.Most people cherish their memories,know that they represent their identity,who they are, where they came from.And I appreciate that. I feel that way too.But I know from my workhow much fiction is already in there.If I've learned anything from these decadesof working on these problems, it's this:just because somebody tells you somethingand they say it with confidence,just because they say it with lots of detail,just because they express emotion when they say it,it doesn't mean that it really happened.We can't reliably distinguish true memories from false memories.We need independent corroboration.Such a discovery has made me more tolerantof the everyday memory mistakesthat my friends and family members make.Such a discovery might have saved Steve Titus,the man whose whole future was snatched awayby a false memory.

But meanwhile, we should all keep in mind,we'd do well to,that memory, like liberty,is a fragile thing.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you. (Applause)Thanks very much. (Applause)



我给你们讲个我以前经手过的一个案子。这个案子里有一个人叫斯蒂夫·提塔斯。

提塔斯以前是饭店经理。他31岁,住在华盛顿州的西雅图,和一个叫格雷琴的姑娘订了婚,马上就要结婚了,她就是他一生的挚爱。一天晚上,这对情侣外出去饭店吃一顿浪漫晚餐回来的时候,他们被警车拦下了。知道吗?提塔斯的车有点类似当天晚上强奸了一位搭便车的女性的罪犯开的车。而提塔斯有点像那个罪犯。所以警察给提塔斯拍了照,放到了罪犯相册里。警察后来把他的照片给那个受害者看。她指着提塔斯的照片,说:“他最像。”警察和检察官继续进行审问,斯蒂夫·提塔斯被当成强奸犯告上法庭,受害者站在法庭上说,“我绝对肯定就是他。”提塔斯就这样被宣告有罪。他申明自己是无辜的,他的家庭对着陪审团声嘶力竭,他的未婚妻倒在地上痛哭,提塔斯被带进了监狱。

那么这样的时候你能做什么?你能做什么?所以,提塔斯从此完全失去对法律体系的信任。可是他有了个想法。他联系当地的报纸,一个搞调查的杂志对他的案子很有兴趣,而且这个杂志实际上找到了真的罪犯,这人最终供认自己的犯罪事实,而且他还和其他的50起强奸案有关。案件都发生在那个地区。法官得知这个消息以后,释放了提塔斯。

好吧,这个案子到这里就该结束了吧?真的是应该结束了。提塔斯应该觉得这是多么糟糕的一年呀。一年的指控、提审,但是都结束了。

但是事情没有就此结束。提塔斯的生活变得更加苦涩。他失业了,无法重新回去上班。他失去了未婚妻。她无法忍受他一直以来的愤怒。他失去了所有存款。所以他决定提起诉讼,状告那些警察和对那些需要对他的遭遇负责的人。

我是从那时开始介入这个案子的,想搞清楚受害人怎么会那么坚定地从“这个人最象”到“我绝对确信就是他。”

那么提塔斯呢 ,把时间都花在他的案子上,他只要醒着就想这事儿。就在要开庭的前几天,他早上醒来,突然疼痛不已,结果死于精神压力引起的心肌梗死。那时他才35岁。

我之所以介入提塔斯的案子,是因为我是个研究心理学的科学家。我研究记忆,已经研究有几十年了。如果我在飞机上遇到谁-恰巧是去苏格兰的-如果我在飞机上遇到谁-我们会互相打招呼,“你是做什么的?做什么的?”我就说,“我是研究记忆的。”他们一般都会告诉我,他们很难记住别人的名字呀,他们有个亲戚得了痴呆症呀,或者一些和记忆有关的问题。然后我就告诉他们,我不研究人的遗忘。正相反,我研究的是人的记忆。当他们记着根本没有发生的事儿,或者记着与他们做的根本不同的事儿。我研究的就是错误记忆。

不幸的是,斯蒂夫·提塔斯不是唯一一个被别人的错误记忆所害的人。在美国的一项课题中,这个课题集中了300个无辜的人们,300个被宣判有罪的无辜者。他们因此而在监狱度过了10年,20年,30年现在的DNA检测证明他们是无辜的。当对这些案子进行分析后,其中四分之三的案子归结于错误的记忆,目击者的错误记忆。

那么,这是为什么呢?给无辜者定罪的那些陪审团成员,给提塔斯定罪的那些陪审团成员,他们都相信记忆可以作为记录装置。就是人记住了一些信息,然后唤起这些信息,重放这些信息来回答警察的提问和鉴别嫌犯照片。数十年的心理学研究显示这不一定是对的。我们的记忆具有可塑性的,也是可重塑的。记忆有点像维基百科页面:你可以登录编辑它,但是别人也可以这样做。我刚开始研究这个可塑性记忆是在70年代。我做了实验,向受试者展示模拟的犯罪事件和事故。我然后问他们都记住了什么。在一项研究中,我们给受试者展示模拟的事故然后我们问他们他们相撞的时候,车速有多快。然后我们问其他的人如果他们重撞在一起时,车速有多快。如果我们用"重撞“这个词儿来引导他们时,受试者更倾向于告诉我们车速是非常快的。不仅如此,用”重撞“来诱导问题时,人们更倾向于告诉我们,他们在事故现场看到了破碎的玻璃。其实,根本就没有什么破碎的玻璃。在另一项研究中,我们展示的是一个模拟事故,一辆车正经过一个有”停车”牌的十字路口。如果我们暗示受试者那是个“让路”牌的时候,很多受试者会说他们记得十字路口有“让路”牌,而不是“停车”牌。

你会说,嗯,这只是拍摄下来的模拟现场,受试者没有什么精神压力。如果在真实的现场会有同样的错误吗?那可是真正紧张的时刻。我们最近发表了一个几个月前的研究课题。正好可以回答你的这个问题。这项研究不同以往的地方在于我们见了有过紧张压力体验的受试者。这项研究的受试者是美军军方人士。他们经历了残酷的训练来体验被活捉成为战犯的场面。这个训练的其中一部分就是这些士兵遭到长达30分钟的刑讯逼供和严刑拷打。后来他们必须努力辨别出是谁对他们施加了暴行。当我们向他们建议审讯人可能另有其人时,他们中的很多人认不出真正的审讯人。他们经常指认出完全不相近的人。

这些研究结果表明当你向人们提供错误信息误导他们经历过的事情时你完全可以破坏、搅乱甚至改变他们的记忆。

大千世界,错误的信息无处不在。我们得到错误的信息,不仅是因为我们遇到误导性提问,而且也可能是我们与其他人交谈时被有意无意地灌输了错误信息。也可能是我们看到了与我们经历有关的媒体报道。这一切都有可能扭曲我们的记忆。

90年代,我们观察到一个更为极端的记忆问题。一些患者因为一个单纯的问题去看医生,也许是因为抑郁,或者饮食失调。但当他们结束治疗时,往往会产生完全不同的问题。那些关于残酷暴行的极端记忆,有些象是邪教仪式有些带有非常奇怪、非常特殊的成分。一个结束了心理治疗的妇女坚信自己经受了数年的残忍的性侵害,使她不幸怀孕。孩子从她的肚子里被夺走。可是她身上根本就没有任何伤疤也没有任何体征来支持她的观点。当我研究这些案例时,我想知道这些奇特的记忆是从何而来呢?我发现很多这样奇怪的情况都源于患者的一些心理治疗。我不禁想到这些问题可能跟他们所进行的心理治疗有关-比如想象力训练,比如解梦,比如催眠疗法,或者无意接触到的错误信息。这些是不是都会使患者产生一些非常奇怪的不正确的记忆呢?因此我设计了一些实验,使用心理治疗中会采用的步骤来研究这些丰富的错误记忆是如何产生的。来研究这些丰富的错误记忆是如何产生的。

我们最初的一个研究是,我们对受试者提出建议,这个方法借鉴了我们在案例里看到的一些心理治疗法。我们用我们的建议植入一个错误的记忆。那就是:当你还五六岁的时候,你在一个购物中心走丢了,你害怕得哭了,最终,你在一个长者的帮助下找到了家人。我们成功地给大约四分之一的受试者植入了这个错误记忆。你会说,好吧,可是这个不是在心理压力下的测试呀。我们以及其他的研究人员成功地植入过一些错误的记忆,错误得非常离谱,也非常纠结的记忆。在田纳西的一项研究中,科研人员植入的错误记忆是你小的时候,差点淹死过,是一个救生员救了你。加拿大的一项研究中,研究人员植入的错误记忆是你小的时候曾经被凶恶的动物攻击过。近一半的受试者之后有了这样的错误记忆。在意大利的一项研究中,研究者植入的错误记忆是你小时候目睹过恶魔附身

在这里我想说看起来我们是在伤害受试者却打着科学的旗号。其实,我们的研究都要经过科研道德委员会的层层审批的。经审批,委员会认为,对那些会有短暂不适感的受试者的研究工作可以帮助我们更好地理解记忆的过程和记忆的破坏,那些发生在世界各地的问题。

令我惊奇的是,我发表的研究开始引起了一些著名理疗师的反对。他们给我制造了很多麻烦,敌对主要来自于一些心情压抑的记忆治疗师。他们觉得自己受到了攻击。敌对也来自那些认为自己被无端牵扯进来的患者。我有的时候不得不带着保镖去做演讲嘉宾。人们写信投诉,要勒令我辞职。可能最糟糕的还有我曾经认为一位妇女根本就是无辜的。可是她长大的女儿偏认为她的妈妈曾经性侵过她,仅仅凭着那些压抑的记忆。这个女儿甚至把她的所谓的故事搬上了银幕,曝光给公众。我非常怀疑这个故事的真实性。所以我开始了调查,最终的调查结果让我相信这位妈妈是无辜的。我发表文章来揭露真相,后来那位女儿把我告上法庭。即使我没有提及她的姓名,她仍然状告我诽谤和侵犯隐私。这个案子经过了五年的时间。我不得不经历大量的令人厌恶的诉讼。最终,最终,案子终于结束了,我得以回到我的工作岗位。然而,在这个过程中,我成为一直令人不安的趋势的一部分。那就是科学家仅仅因为在有争议的公共事务中提出自己的观点而遭诉讼。

我回到工作岗位时,我提出这样一个问题,当我给你植入一个错误记忆后,它会有后续影响吗?它会改变你将来的想法和将来的行为吗?我们给你植入错误记忆你因此就像孩子吃错了东西一样生病。就象吃错了坏鸡蛋、腌菜、草莓冰激凌一样生病。我们发现一旦我们植入了错误记忆,人们就不那么喜欢在野餐的时候吃那些食物了人们就不那么喜欢在野餐的时候吃那些食物了错误记忆不一定就是不好的,不愉快的。如果我们植入一个温暖、温馨的记忆,记忆里面有美味的芦笋的话,我们就会让人们更喜欢吃芦笋。所以这些研究表明,你可以植入错误记忆,而记忆有后续反应。一旦形成了这个记忆,它会长久地影响你的行为。

那么,通过植入记忆来影响行为的这种能力很明显会带来一些严肃的道德问题。比如,我们什么情况下可以使用这样的意识技术?我们应该不应该禁止它的使用?在伦理上,治疗师不能给患者植入错误的记忆,即使这有助于帮助患者。但是这不能阻止一些家长为了他们超重和肥胖的孩子去尝试这种治疗。我建议公开使用这种疗法时,又引起了舆论大哗。“看看她,她主张让父母跟孩子撒谎。”

你好,圣诞老人。(笑声)

我的意思是,从另一个角度想这个问题,你是宁可有一个肥胖的,有糖尿病的,短命的问题众多的孩子,还是想要一个有一点小小错误记忆的孩子?我知道我会怎么给我的孩子选,

也许是我的工作让我和别人不大一样。很多人珍视他们的记忆,知道那些代表他的身份,代表他们是谁,从哪儿来。我明白这些。我也是那么认为的。但从我的工作中我知道,一个人的记忆中到底有多少是虚构的。这么几十年的工作确实让我学到些东西,那就是:即使有人告诉过你,而且是胸有成竹地告诉你,即使他们描述了很多细节,即使他们满怀激情地描述,那也不等于它真的就发生过。我们无法从真实的记忆中识别错误记忆。我们需要独立的佐证。这样的发现使我能够忍受每天发生的记忆错误,那些来自朋友家人的记忆错误。这样的发现本来可以挽救斯蒂夫•塔提斯,那个被无端夺走生命的人。这一切仅仅源于一个错误的记忆。

但同时,我们需要记住,我们需要做好事。那些记忆就像自由一样,是很脆弱的。谢谢,谢谢!非常感谢!(掌声)非常感谢!(掌声)

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