Dr Eryn Newman

Lecturer
College of Health & Medicine

Research interests

  • Cognitve Biases in Belief and Memory
  • False Memories
  • Correcting Misinformation 

Biography

My research and training are in memory and cognition. I completed my PhD at Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand and then from 2012-2015 I spent three years at the University of California, Irvine as a Fulbright Scholar and Research Fellow. During this time I studied human memory and forensic science communication/jury decision-making. From 2015-2017 I trained as a Research Associate/Postdoc at the University of Southern California, studying social-cognitive perspectives on assessments of truth and memory. In early 2018 I joined the ANU as a Lecturer in the Research School of Psychology. 

Truthiness and Mistakes in Memory and Belief

 Did I lock the door when I left the house? Do I believe that news headline that just appeared on my phone? We are regularly making decisions about what is real and what is not. In my research I examine the cognitive mechanisms that contribute to memory and belief and the ways these processes can go awry. I am especially interested in how people come to believe and remember things are true, even when they are not. And in particular, how people can succumb to truthiness—using feelings and pseudoevidence to decide what is real, instead of drawing on facts.

These judgements about what is real and what is not are all made in context, when we have different goals and information on the mind. In my research I also examine the role of context in assessments of truth, memory and broader judgements about people and evidence.

Combining approaches from social and cognitive psychology I try to understand the role of evidence, feelings and context in correcting misinformation, enhancing science communication and understanding bias in judgements within criminal justice contexts.

See recent discussion on: Seeing is believing: How media mythbusting can actually make false beliefs stronger

See recent webinar on: The impact of information (and misinformation) on mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

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Updated:  04 December 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers