Julia Shaw (psychologist)
Shaw in March 2018
|Alma mater||University of British Columbia|
|Known for||False memory syndrome|
Education and academic career
Shaw was born in Cologne, West Germany and grew up in Canada. In 2004 she started a BSc in psychology at the Simon Fraser University. She went on to complete a Masters in Psychology and Law at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. In 2009, she returned to Canada and was awarded a PhD at the University of British Columbia. Her doctoral thesis was entitled "Constructing Rich False Memories of Committing Crime". Shaw remained in Canada, a lecturer at the University of Waterloo and the University of British Columbia. In 2013 she became Lecturer in forensic psychology at University of Bedfordshire. She joined London South Bank University as a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in 2015, before becoming an honorary Research Associate at University College London in 2017.
Shaw's primary expertise is in false memories and how law enforcement can use "tactics [that] may lead people to recall crimes that never occurred". In one of her studies, she succeeded in getting 70% of the participants to create false memories or beliefs of events from their childhood that never took place, and this study was covered extensively in mainstream media. The validity of this 70% finding has, however, been criticised by colleagues who recoded the data to conclude 26-30% of participants had false memories (with those with false beliefs without memory details not being counted as false memories in this recoding). Shaw addressed the criticism in a 2018 article in Psychological Science, where she explained that the original coding categorized false beliefs as false memories--in keeping with past research that argued memory and belief are difficult to truly distinguish. 
Shaw is a contributor to Scientific American. She gives public lectures on psychology and memory. In 2016 she created a PBS Nova documentary, "Memory Hackers". She contributes to podcasts and radio, and her work has been featured on the Discovery Channel and BBC, as well as appearing in Der Spiegel, Russia Today and The Times. In 2016, Random House published her first book "The Memory Illusion", which has since been translated into 14 different languages. In 2017 she gave a TEDx talk, "How False Memories Corrupt Our Identities, Politics and Justice System" at TEDxBergen and "Is Your Memory Just an Illusion?" at TEDxPorto.
- The Memory Illusion: Remembering, Forgetting, and the Science of False Memory. Random House, 2016, ISBN 978-1847947628
- Making Evil: The Science Behind Humanity's Dark Side. Canongate Books Ltd., 2018, ISBN 978-1786891303
- Bryce, Emma. "False memories and false confessions: the psychology of imagined crimes". Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- "Julia Shaw Speaker, Speeches, Booking Agent | MFL Global". MFL Global. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- Julia Shaw; Stephen Porter (2015-03-01). "Constructing Rich False Memories of Committing Crime". Psychological Science. 26 (3): 291–301. doi:10.1177/0956797614562862. ISSN 0956-7976. PMID 25589599.
- Shaw, Julia. "LinkedIn - Dr Julia Shaw". Uk.linkedin.com. Retrieved 2018-01-02.[dead link]
- Siegel, Nathan. "Give This Woman 3 Hours and She'll Have You Confessing to a Crime You Didn't Commit". OZY. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- "email@example.com - UCL Search". Search2.ucl.ac.uk. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
- profile at LinkedIn (retrieved 2016-09-26)
- "Dr Julia Shaw Senior Lecturer - Criminology". London South Bank University. Archived from the original on 2017-03-16. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Douglas Starr: Remembering A Crime That You Didn’t Commit. The New Yorker, 2015-03-05
- Wade, K. A.; Garry, M.; Pezdek, K. (2017). "De-constructing rich false memories of crime: Commentary on Shaw and Porter (2015)". Psychological Science. 29: 471–476. doi:10.1177/0956797617703667. PMID 29315022.
- Shaw, Julia (2017). "How Can Researchers Tell Whether Someone Has a False Memory? Coding Strategies in Autobiographical False-Memory Research: A Reply to Wade, Garry, and Pezdek (2018)". Psychological Science. 29 (3): 477–480. doi:10.1177/0956797618759552. PMID 29451430.
- "Stories by Julia Shaw". Scientific American. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- "Dr Julia Shaw - False memory in the workplace". YouTube. 2016-12-15. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- "Julia Shaw - Memory hacking: The science of learning in the 21st Century - LT17 conference". YouTube. 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- Julia Shaw (2016-06-04), The Memory Illusion by Dr Julia Shaw, retrieved 2018-01-02
- Julia Shaw (2016-02-17), Julia Shaw on "Memory Hackers" Nova, retrieved 2018-01-02
- "What an expert on false memories can tell you about the EU debate". The Independent. 2016-06-20. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- "Ep 7: Dr Julia Shaw & Dr Brenna Hassett – Ada Lovelace Day". Findingada.com. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- Tom Whipple (2016-06-24). "False memory of sex abuse can be inspired by police". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- "Trügerische Erinnerungen: Der vermeintliche Verbrecher". Spiegel Online. 2016-08-16. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- "Dr. Julia Shaw: "Your imagination can be easily confused with your memory", Fearne Cotton and Professor Julia Shaw, Steve Wright in the Afternoon - BBC Radio 2". BBC. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- French, Christopher. "Explainer: what are false memories?". The Conversation. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- "The Memory Illusion: Remembering, Forgetting, and the Science of False Memory eBook: Julia Shaw: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- Shaw, Julia. "The Memory Illusion". Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- "How False Memories Corrupt Our Identities, Politics, and Justice System | Julia Shaw | TEDxBergen". YouTube. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- "Is Your Memory Just an Illusion? | A Tua Memória é Apenas Uma Ilusão? | Julia Shaw | TEDxPorto". YouTube. 2017-10-30. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
- Official website
- Julia Shaw - Memory hacking: The science of learning in the 21st Century (video of conference talk, 63 mins)