Regaining Consensus on the Reliability of Memory

Chris R Brewin, Bernice Andrews, Laura Mickes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
927 Downloads (Pure)


In the last twenty years the consensus about memory being essentially reliable has been neglected in favor of an emphasis on the malleability and unreliability of memory, and on the public’s supposed unawareness of this. Three claims in particular have underpinned this popular perspective: That the confidence people have in their memory is weakly related to its accuracy, that false memories of fictitious childhood events can be easily implanted, and that the public wrongly sees memory as like a video camera. New research has clarified that all three claims rest on shaky foundations, suggesting there is no reason to abandon the old consensus about memory being malleable, but essentially reliable.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Early online date30 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jan 2020

Structured keywords

  • Memory
  • Cognitive Science


  • false memory
  • memory accuracy
  • confidence
  • lay beliefs


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