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Loftus and Palmer (1974) - Reconstruction of automobile destruction and example of the interaction between language and memory
Terms in this set (38)
What area is Loftus and Palmer from?
What is the focus of this study?
accurate memory recall is very important in a courtroom because an inaccurate memory could have disastrous consequences when a witness is trying to remember an event
What is the background summary for this study?
when a question is asked in a way that pushes a person into giving a particular answer
What is the definition of the key term of this study 'leading questions'?
to investigate the effect of language (in particular leading questions) on memory
What was the aim of this study?
What was the research method used?
self-report - use of questionnaires
What are evidence from the study to justify this?
independent measures design
What was the experimental design used?
45 American students from Washington university
split into 5 groups of 9
Who was the sample for experiment 1?
it was easy to obtain as they were all found at the same place
What was a strength of Loftus and Palmer's sample?
not generalisable - same uni
all students likely to have fairly high cognitive abilities
restricted age range
What were the weaknesses?
the verb used in the critical question:
What were the 5 independent variable conditions?
the speed estimations that the participants gave
What was the dependent variable in this study?
participants watched 7 clips of road safety videos, ranging from 5-30 seconds
in 4 of the videos, they witnessed a staged car crash
afterwards, they filled out a questionnaire recounting what they saw in the clips
critical question: although participants filled out a questionnaire of several questions, Loftus and Palmer were only concerned with the critical question which was ''About how fast were the cars going when they
5 groups - each group had a different verb, the rest of the questionnaire was identical for everyone
What was the procedure?
How was data collected?
same video clips
the rest of the questionnaire apart from the critical question
What were the controls of this study?
What was the type of data collected?
the more severe the verb - the more higher estimations of speed
suggests that leading questions affect the accuracy of your memory
What were the conclusions?
What were the explanations for these conclusions?
the effect of the leading questions genuinely led the participant to believe they saw the car travelling faster than it really was
What is memory alteration?
the wording of the question led the participant to change their answer from what they actually believed
What is response bias?
150 students divided into 3 groups with 50 participants in each condition
Who was the sample in experiment 2?
50 were asked with the verb 'smashed'
50 were asked with the verb 'hit'
50 weren't asked about the speed of the vehicles and therefore acted as a control group condition
What were the 3 independent variable conditions in experiment 2?
did you see any broken glass? yes or no? - nominal data
What was the dependent variable in experiment 2?
participants watched a single clip of a car crash and were once again given the questionnaire with the critical question
1 group had 'smashed' as their verb
another group had 'hit' as their vern
the control group was not asked the critical question
What happened in the procedure part 1 for experiment 2?
a week later, all of the participants came back and were all asked a second critical question ''Did you see any broken glass?''
there was no broken glass in the clip
What happened in the procedure part 2 for experiment 2?
the more severe the verb - the higher the speed estimates
participants were more likely to claim that they had seen broken glass in the clip, even when there was none
this suggests that leading questions influence a person's memory up to the point where they will claim to see things that were not there
What were the 3 conclusions for experiment 2?
Loftus and palmer conclude that our memory is made up of 2 elements:
our original perception of the event and external information that is supplied afterwards
overtime, these elements merge together and eventually we cannot tell what we originally saw and what information we obtained afterwards
What were the explanations for these conclusions of experiment 2?
protection from harm - the researchers chose to show the clips of car crashes from safety films which did not contain any gruesome images so the participants wouldn't get get or caused her
What ethical guidelines were upheld in this study?
deception - even though the participants knew they were doing a test about memory, the hypothesis about leading questions was not revealed to them and distracter questions were used to further conceal the exact hypothesis but this concealment was necessary to control demand characteristics
What ethical guidelines were broken in this study?
highly standardised - replicable
Internal reliability: Was the procedure standardised and replicable?
Why did they bother with seven films in experiment 1?
was an accurate test of eyewitness memory but since the participants knew they were in a study, they may tried to affect the outcome of the study like thinking that they were supposed to remember broken glass so writing that they saw broken glass
Internal validity: Was it an accurate test of eyewitness memory? Could there be any other possible reasons for the speed estimates and broken glass reported?
low because it was conducted in an artificial environment
in the study, the participants were prepared to recall what they had seen after watching the film but in real life, accidents happen spontaneously so our memory will obviously be different because we weren't prepared to recall as accidents in real life happen suddenly
External (ecological) validity: Did the experiment resemble a real life situation?
because they were investigating a species-specific behaviour
How is this study not ethnocentric?
because of the restrictions of the sample
How is this study ethnocentric?
because it investigated the cognitive process of memory, especially the effect of language (in particular leading questions) on memory
How does this study relate to the cognitive area?
because this study provides us with empirical evidence into the effects of external information on our original perception of the event
How does this story relate to the key theme?
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