Study sets, textbooks, questions
Upgrade to remove ads
Psychology: Memory - Eyewitness testimony
Terms in this set (25)
What is eyewitness testimony?
The ability of people to remember the details of events like accidents/crimes which they themselves have observed.
What did Loftus and Palmer (1974) investigate?
Loftus and Palmer (1974) investigated how eyewitness testimony can be distorted by leading questions. They use leading questions, where a certain answer is implied in the question.
What was the method of Loftus and Palmers (1974) research?
- Forty-five American students formed an opportunity sample. This was a laboratory experiment with five conditions, only one of which was experienced by each participant (an independent measures experimental design).
- Participants were shown slides of a car accident involving a number of cars and asked to describe what had happened as if they were eyewitnesses. They were then asked specific questions, including the question "About how fast were the cars going when they (hit/smashed/collided/bumped/contacted ) each other?"
What were the findings of Loftus and Palmers (1974) research?
- The mean estimated speed was calculated for each participant group. The verb contacted resulted in a mean estimated speed of 31.8 mph. For the verb smashed, the mean was 40.5 mph. The leading question biased the eyewitnesses recall of an event.
Evaluate Loftus and Palmers (1974) research?
- Artificial experiment, watching a video is not as emotionally arousing as a real life event, who ch would potentially affect recall.
- Experimental design could have led to demand characteristics, results skewed because participants expectations about the purpose of the event. (leading questions could have been clues), reducing validity and reliability of the experiment.
- A strength is that the research into misleading info is that it has important uses in the criminal justice system. , psychologists can help improve the legal system.
- Small group used and American, not generalisable
- Students so may not be able to drive and therefore cannot accurately estimate the speed, less experienced drivers
- Lacks ecological validity and mundane realism
- Not representable, American students
What was Loftus and Palmers (1974) 2nd experiment method?
- Loftus and Palmer (1974) conducted a second experiment
- Participants were split into 3 groups, one group given verb smashed, one hit, and the 3rd was the control group and was given no indication of the vehicles speed.
- A week later, the participants were asked if they saw any broken glass.
What was Loftus and Palmers (1974) 2nd experiment findings?
Although there was no broken glass in the film, participants were more likely to say that they'd seen broken glass in the 'smashed' condition than any other.
What did Loftus and Palmer (1974) conclude?
Leading questions can affect the accuracy of peoples memories of an event.
What did Loftus and Zanni (1975) research into?
A study into leading questions.
What was the method of Loftus and Zanni (1975)?
- Participants were shown a film of a car crash. They were then asked "Did you see the broken headlight?" or "Did you see a broken headlight?". there was no broken headlight shown in the film.
What were the results of Loftus and Zanni (1975)?
17% of those asked about "the" broken headlights claimed they saw one, compared to 7% in the group asked about "a" broken headlight.
What did Loftus and Zanni (1975) conclude?
The simple use of the word "the" is enough to affect the accuracy of peoples memories of an event.
Evaluate Loftus and Zanni (1975)?
- Study has implications on eyewitness testimony
- Lab study - extraneous variables were controlled - possible to study cause and effect
- Study was artificial - low ecological and mundane realism.
What two studies suggest that post-event discussion can affect the accuracy of recall?
Shaw et al (1997), Gabbert et al (2004)
What was Shaw et al (1997) method and findings?
- Paired participants with a confederate (pretended to be another participant).
- Pairs were shown videos of a staged video and were interviewed together after.
- Participant and confederate alternated who answered the question first.
- When participants responded first, recall was accurate around 58% of the time.
- When confederate answered first and gave accurate answers, the recall of the participant was 67%.
- If the confederate gave incorrect answers, correct recall for the participants fell to 42%.
- Confederate fed participant misleading post-event information, affecting the recall of the participant.
What was Gabbert et al (2004) method and findings?
- Involved 2 groups of participants - young adults age 17-33 and older adults 58-80.
- Both groups watched a staged crime and were then exposed to misleading information in one or two ways - through convo with a confederate nor reading a written report of the crime, supposedly written by another participant.
- The participants were then given a recall test about the event they'd witnessed.
- It was found that both groups of adults were more likely to report inaccurate information after a conversation with a confederate than after reading the report.
- Misleading information received through conversation, and the effects are just as big.
What is the Yerkes-Dodson effect?
The Yerkes-Dodson effect states that when anxiety is at low and high levels, EWT is less accurate than if anxiety is at a medium level. Recall improves as anxiety increases up to an optimal point and then declines.
What tends to happen if we are in a state of anxiety?
When we are in a state of anxiety, we tend to focus on whatever is making us feel anxious or fearful, and we exclude other information about the situation. If a weapon is used to threaten a victim, their attention is likely to focus on it. Consequently, their recall of other information is likely to be poor.
Whats some research evidence supporting the idea the anxiety has a negative effect on recall?
Johnson and Scott (1976).
What the research method for Johnson and Scott (1976)?
- Participants believed they were taking part in a lab study.
- While sat in waiting room, participants in the low anxiety condition heard a causal convo in the next room and then saw a man walk past them carrying a pen with grease on his hands.
- Other participants in the high anxiety condition overheard a heated argument, accompanied by the sound of breaking glass.
- A man then walked out the room holding a blood covered knife.
What were the finding for Johnson and Scott (1976)?
- Participants later picked out the man from a set of 50 photos, 49% who has seen the man carrying the pen were able to identify him.
- Participants who had seen man carrying a blood-covered knife, 33% were able to identify him.
Evaluate Johnson and Scotts research.
- Limitation is that it may not have tested anxiety. - participants may have been surprised and weapon rather than scared - Study done by Kerri Pickel suggested that the weapon focus effect is due to unusualness rather than anxiety/threat and therefore tells us nothing specifically about the effects on anxiety on EWT.
Whats some research evidence supporting the idea the anxiety has a positive effect on recall?
Yuille and Cutshall (1986).
What was the research method for Yuille and Cutshall (1986)?
- Conducted a study of an actual shooting in a gun shop in Vancouver
- Shop owner shot a thief dead
- 21 witnesses - 13 participated in study
- they were interviewed 4-5 months after the incident and these interviews were compared to the original police interviews at the time of the shooting
- accuracy was determined by number of details reported in each account
- witnesses were also asked how stressed they felt on a 7 point scale and whether they had any emotional problems since the event
Findings and conclusion for Yuille and Cutshall (1986)?
- witnesses were very accurate in their accounts and there was little exchange in amount recalled or accuracy over 5 months, though some small details were less accurate
- participants who reported higher levels of stress were the most accurate, suggesting that anxiety does not have a detrimental effect on the accuracy of the eyewitness memory in a real-world context and may even enhance it
Sets found in the same folder
Memory: Cognitive Interview
A level Psychology: Memory - Types of memory
A level psychology: Memory - Models of m…
Psychology: Memory- Forgetting
Other sets by this creator
A level Biology: Organisms exchange subs…
Psychology: Psychopathology - The biological appro…
Psychology: Psychopathology - The cognitive approa…
Psychology: Psychopathology - The behaviour approa…