Allport and Postman (1945): schemas and eyewitness

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  • Allport and Postman (1945): schemas and eyewitness memory
    • They used a picture of two men talking in an underground station in a serial reproduction task. A black man wearing a suit talking to a white man in overalls, who was holding a razor. In the picture, the white man has the razor in one hand and is pointing with the other.
    • In more than half of the reproductions, the black man was falsely recalled with the razor and in some he was reported to be 'threatening' the white man with it. These errors could happen if the participants had a schema that linked black people to crime. If this distortion applied to eyewitnesses, it would make them unreliable.

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