Associate Professor Eryn Newman

Associate Director Education (Psychology), ANU School of Medicine and Psychology
Associate Professor in Psychology

My research and training are in memory and cognition. I completed my PhD at Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand and from 2012-2015 I studied at the University of California, Irvine as a Fulbright Scholar and then Research Scholar. 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. I joined the ANU in 2018 and I am an Associate Professor the School of Medicine and Psychology.

Research WebsiteANU Memory and Applied Cognition Lab

Research interests

Research interests

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 across a range of contexts including health and criminal justice.

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