Loftus Weapon Focus Effect

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  • Loftus Weapon Focus Effect
    • Aims
      • Arousal may focus on more central details about attack rather than the attacker
    • Procedure
      • Used 2 conditions: involving a weapon, not involving a weapon
      • 1.Participants heard discussion in adjoining room man with pen covered in grease came out
      • 2.More heated discussion man with paper knife and blood came out
      • Asked to identify man form 50 photos
    • Findings
      • Condition 1 were 49% accurate
      • Condition 2 were 33% accurate
    • Conclusion
      • Weapon may have distracted attention from man
      • Explains why eye witnesses sometimes have poor recall
    • Evaluation
      • Meta Analysis by Steblay- presence of weapon does reduce chances of correctly identifying person holding it
      • Ethics- condition 2 would be stressful
      • Would have debriefed them


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