Scott Fraser is a forensic psychologist who thinks deeply about the fallibility of human memory and encourages a more scientific approach to trial evidence.

Why you should listen

When it comes to witnesses in criminal trials, the accuracy of human memory can mean the difference between life and death. Scott Fraser is an expert witness who researches what’s real and what’s selective when it comes to human memory and crime. His areas of expertise include human night vision, neuropsychopharmacology, and the effect of stress and other factors on the human mind. He has testified in criminal and civil cases throughout the U.S. in state and federal courts.

In 2011 Fraser was involved in the retrial of a 1992 murder case in which Francisco Carrillo was found guilty and sentenced to two life sentences in prison. Fraser and the team that hired him staged a dramatic reenactment of the night of the murder in question and showed the testimonies that had put Carrillo in jail were unreliable. After 20 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit, Carrillo was freed.

Scott Fraser’s TED talks

Scott Fraser on the TED Blog

Science

Playing memory games on this week’s TED Radio Hour

May 24, 2013

How do you keep memories? And how much can you trust those preservations? This week’s TED Radio Hour, “Memory Games,” looks at recollections versus actual experiences, sorts through our tendency to create false memories, and unpacks how we can actually enhance our ability to remember. Forensic psychologist Scott Fraser starts the hour. He is the […]

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Playlist

6 talks on the phenomena behind wrongful convictions

September 10, 2012

In courtrooms, eyewitness testimony is considered extremely powerful. But should it be? At TEDxUSC, forensic psychologist Scott Fraser explains why, even when witnesses feel sure they are telling a true story, or making the right identification, their minds could be playing tricks on them — filling in blanks in traumatic memories with erroneous information. Fraser […]

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Quotes from Scott Fraser

There's a long history of antipathy between science and the law in American jurisprudence.
Scott Fraser
TEDxUSC • 748K views Sep 2012
Informative, Persuasive
All our memories are reconstructed memories. They are the product of what we originally experienced and everything that's happened afterwards.
Scott Fraser
TEDxUSC • 748K views Sep 2012
Informative, Persuasive