Eye Witness Testimony

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  • EWT
    • Leading questions - A qu phrased in such a way that is suggests an answer.
      • Loftus & Palmer 1974 study.
    • Age of witness
      • Children are more sensitive to leading questions - Warren et al memories of 3 - 4 year olds are more susceptible.
      • Childrens ability to understand the question influences recall.
      • Old people also have poor performance on eye witness testimony, recognise their own age better.
    • Factors affecting eye witness testimony
      • Anxiety - when in a state of anxiety we concentrate on what is making us anxious.  Loftus study - weapon focus.
      • Schema - an unorganised package of information that stores our knowledge about the world.
        • Schema theory shows perceptions will influence what we think we have seen.
    • How to improve the accuracy of eye witness testimony. Cognitive interview technique
      • Context reinstatement - recreate a mental image.
      • Recall from a changed perspective.
      • recall in a reverse order.
      • Report everything.
  • Anxiety - when in a state of anxiety we concentrate on what is making us anxious.  Loftus study - weapon focus.

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