Evaluation of Loftus and Palmer  

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  • Evaluation of Loftus and Palmer
    • Research Method and Technique
      • Strength
        • Lab Experiment, good control of extraneous variables, ie distance from where crash was viewed. High internal validity
      • Weakness
        • Not real accidents, research has shown in real accidents PP's are more likely  to remember more.
    • Sampling Bias
      • Strength
        • Students are easy to obtain as participants as most universities require students to partake in studies
      • Weakness
        • Students are more inteligent than average person, and represent a small age range meaning the sample is biased
        • Ability Generalising beyond the sample is low
    • Ethnocentrism
      • strength
        • This study relies on the nature of peoples brains, so ethnocentrism shouldn't be an issue, as this investigates a species specific behaviour
      • Weakness
        • America is an individualist culture, people are more concerned for individual gain, this could effect the influence of a leading question, as collectivist cultures are more involved what other people say as they value links in the group
        • Student samples have ethnocentric biases as most students  come from upper and middle classes, other  groups may . preform differently
    • Type of Data
      • The data collected was quantitative, the speed estimates and number of YES/No answers
        • Strength
          • Enables researchers to make graphs and create simple conclusions
        • Weakness
          • Gives no indication of why individuals estimated speed as they did
    • Reliability
      • Qualitative data, is reliable the same participants could repeat the task and the same results would be expected
      • High control lab experiment is replicable, meaning it could be replicated and results compared to see if it has test - retest reliability
      • Both Experiments showed memories ca be distorted by information after the event, this supports the reliability of leading questions distorting memory
    • Ethical Issues
      • The use of deception can be argued to be acceptable, as the research was important, and the deception was mild, psychological harm was not caused, and true aims wouldn't cause PPs to refuse to take part.
      • Didn't get fully informed consent as the true aims were not known to PP.s however this would have meant PP's would know about the use of leading questions and would have answered more carefully
    • Validity
      • Weakness
        • PP's knew they were in a study so may have acted to effect outcome, like thinking they were supposed to remember seeing broken glass, saying they did when they did not this is not a vaild representation of leading questions on memory
      • Strength
        • Highly controlled lab has high design validity. The procedure was standardised
    • Ecological validity
      • A highly controlled lab experiment may be low in ecological validity. PP's were prepared to remember details about the crashes where in real life crashes are unpredictable and memories will therefore be different
    • areas
      • Cognitive area as it investigates a cognitive process memory, showing information introduced after a event can have effect on the eyewitness
      • Relates to the key theme of memory as Loftus and Palmer as they found evidence to support how memory can be reconstructive
    • Debates
      • Psychology as a science
        • Controlled lab experiment fulfils scientific criteria, supporting the claim the psychology is a science
      • Usefullness
        • This study showed  that leading questions can distort memory which  is important for police
        • However in second experimtent of 150 121 answered correctly 'NO' meaning it may be harder to distort memories than it seems


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