Factors affecting eyewitness testimony

  • Created by: Georgia
  • Created on: 29-04-19 11:56
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  • Factors affecting eyewitness testimony
    • Leading questions  (aim to get a desired answer)
      • Loftus and Palmer (1974)     More aggressive verb used resulted in higher average speed estimate
        • "Smashed" verb - PPs remembered non-existent broken glass
      • Loftus Pictures of a man with a red wallet, interviewers called it brown during questioning; 98% still called it red
      • Lacks mundane realism; Doesn't represent real life situations
        • Mostly uses lab experiments
          • Standardised, controlled and easily replicated
      • Mostly uses lab experiments
        • Standardised, controlled and easily replicated
      • Practical applications; specially avoided in police investigations
        • Special training is needed; expensive
    • Post-event discussion (information added to a memory after discussing)
      • Gabbert (2003)   Paired PPs who watched different angles of the same video, discussed event, 71% recalled info they couldn't have seen
      • Can be used to create entirely false memories
      • Artificial set-up as uses a video
        • If real, there would be much more stress and anxiety
      • High percentage proves effects of PED
    • Anxiety (an unpleasant state of emotional arousal)
      • Yerkes-Dodson law; Moderate anxiety generates optimum performance
      • Positive effect; triggers flight or fight - enhances alertness and memory
        • Yuille and Cutshall (1986)   Those with higher anxiety had better recall
          • Real witnesses of a real crime so high external validity
        • Christianson and Hubinette (1993)     Bank tellers had more accurate recall than bystanders
      • Negative effect; tunnel theory of memory and weapon focus effect
        • Johnson and Scott (1976) Man carrying knife with blood and man carrying a pen covered in grease
          • PPs in the first condition had worse recall
          • Anxiety of weapon increases stress and reduces recall


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