Factors affecting accuracy of EWT

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  • Created by: z_mills1
  • Created on: 08-05-14 09:28
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  • Factors affecting accuracy of EWT
    • Anxiety
      • Weapon focus effect (Loftus)
        • 2 groups of pp's
          • 1 - overheard a low-key discussion, man emerges holding a pen and grease on his hands
          • 2 - heard a heated/hostile exchange, sounds of breaking glass, smashing chairs, man emerged holding a knife covered in blood
        • arousal (anxiety) may focus attention on central features of a crime (e.g. weapon) and thus reduce recall of details (e.g. perpetrator's face)
      • Christianson and Hubinette
        • spoke to 58 real witnesses to bank robberies
        • they concluded that people are good are remembering highly stressful events if they occur in real-life rather than in artificial surroundings (lab)
    • Misleading information
      • Loftus and Palmer
        • 45 students shown films of traffic accidents
        • questions afterwards included a critical one about speed of car
        • verb used changed for each group of pp's
          • 'hit', 'smashed', 'collided', 'bumped' or 'contacted'
        • suggests leading questions can have a significant effect on memory
        • suggests EWT was generally inaccurate, therefore unreliable
      • Loftus et al.
        • pp's shown photos of a car at a junction with STOP/YIELD sign
        • pp's given questions either consistent with photo seen (STOP sign-asked about STOP sign)
          • or inconsistent with photo seen (YIELD sign-asked about STOP sign)
        • pp's were shown pairs of photos and asked to identify the original
        • those given inconsistent (misleading) info - 41% correct in identification
        • those given consistent info - 75% correct in identification
    • Age
      • Ceci and Bruck
        • suggested that children's lack of an appropriate schema is one reason why they may be inaccurate in providing EWT
          • makes it difficult for them to encode the event accurately
        • however, adult's prior knowledge and expectations (schemas) may sometimes cause them to 'see' things that aren't there
        • Interviewer bias
          • when the interviewer has a fixed idea of what really happened, it can lead to attempts (via misleading q's) to get the child to confirm the interviewer bias
        • Repeated questions
          • young children are more likely to change their answer when the same question is repeated
        • Peer pressure
          • research has shown that children  may incorporate events into their own memories which others have told them about, eventhough they them selves were not witnesses
      • Goodman and Reed
        • when children are asked leading q's they are more likely than adults to give the answer implied by the question
  • shows that misleading info affects recall
    • those given inconsistent (misleading) info - 41% correct in identification
    • those given consistent info - 75% correct in identification

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