Effects of misleading information on EWT (Loftus and Palmer)

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  • Created by: Reece
  • Created on: 04-01-13 20:32
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  • Effects of misleading information on EWT
    • Loftus  & Palmer
      • Procedures
        • 45 American students
        • Shown 7 films of car collisions
        • Given a questionnaire after each film with 1 critical question. Divided into five groups.
          • Verb changed from either Smashed, collided, bumped, contacted or hit.
      • Findings
        • Estimated speed was affected by the verb used
        • Group given 'smashed' estimated 9MPH higher than group with the verb 'contacted'
      • Conclusions
        • The questions can be termed 'leading' as they affected the witnesses memory of the event.
        • Language can have a distorting affect on EWT
          • Leading to inaccurate accounts
    • Evaluation Points
      • Influential
        • Shows that memory can be fundamentally altered by post event information
          • Has implications for the way witnesses are questioned in court.
      • Reliable
        • Research groups have conducted many studies and found similar results.
          • High control of variables due to it being a laboratory experiment make the study replicable and more reliable
      • Contradictory real life research
        • Yuille  & Cutshall
          • Studied  witness recall after a shooting outside a gun shop in Canada
            • Concluded that important info in real life crime is not easily distorted.
              • Additionally there's a weapon effect where witnesses focus on the weapon
                • This could explain why there's poor recall on violent crimes involving a weapon
      • Lacks ecological validity
        • Artificial setting (lab) doesn't reflect real life.
          • Can't replicate real life EWT conditions such as fear and shock for practical & ethical reasons
            • Events may be recalled significantly differently to real life
              • Foster found that participants who believed they were watching a real robbery important to a real trial were more accurate than those who did not.
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