Patrick R. Rich
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology
M.A., Kent State University
Ph.D., Kent State University
Patrick Rich is particularly interested in real-world problems related to the processes involved in updating and altering memories. His research focuses on how our memories change when we encounter new information or experiences.
Rich's recent research has focused on studying how to correct inaccurate knowledge. His goal with this research has been to improve the techniques used to correct mistaken information reported in the news and to correct commonly-held misconceptions. For example, many people still believe that sugar causes hyperactivity (especially in children) despite a variety of scientific evidence consistently indicating that sugar does not lead to hyperactivity. His research in this area has focused on a number of questions, including whether certain types of information are more difficult to correct, and whether certain types of corrections are more effective, and why.
Some of Rich's other past research has focused on how people develop false memories for events that they witnessed. By understanding how memory becomes distorted, we can better understand how our memory works. For instance, let’s say a potential witness to a crime is asked a question about the crime, they did not know the answer, but they felt pressured and guess. He has contributed to research suggesting that people sometimes later falsely report these guesses as having actually occurred. This is consistent with a large body of research indicating that memories do not come with a tag indicating their source. Instead, we make judgments to determine the source of a memory, and these judgments can be wrong.
His other primary passion is teaching. This year at Connecticut College he will be teaching a variety of courses including Research Methods and additional courses focused on human memory and topics related to his research.
Patrick R. Rich
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320