Loftus and Palmer's study of distortion of witness memory

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  • Created by: Jazz23
  • Created on: 08-11-15 19:17
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  • Loftus and Palmer's study of disortion of witness memory
    • Experiment 2
      • Aim
        • Whether participants who heard the words associated with high-speed estimates would be more likely to incorrectly remember broken glass at the crash site
      • Conclusions
        • The way in which questions abot events are worded can affect the way in which those events are remembered
      • Results
        • More than twice as many people incorrectly remembered seeing broken glass having heard the word 'smashed' in the question compared to those who heard 'hit' or who heard no question about speed
      • Method
        • 150 students underwent a similar procedure but were asked about broken glass at the scene. When the word 'smashed' was used, participants still estimated a higher speed, but, in addition, they wrongly remembered seeing broken glass at the scene of the crash
    • Experiment 1
      • Aim
        • To see whether using different verbs to describe a collision between two cars would affect estiamtes of the speed which they were travelling when the crash took place
      • Method
        • 45 students wached film of car crashes. They were asked to estimate the cars' speeds, using different verbs to describe the crash.
      • Results
        • Results were in the form of quantitative data. Participants' estimates of the speed at which the cars were travelling were not affected by the actual speed
        • Estimates of the cars' speeds did vary according to the verb used in the critical question
      • Conclusions
        • Participants' estimates for the speed at which the cars were travelling when the accident took place varied according to the verb used to describe the crash
    • Context
      • The inacuracy of eye-witness testimony, and the potential for memories to be distored by the use of language , have important practical applications.
    • Evaluation
      • Research method- Because the procedure took place in a highly controlled environment it was possible to eliminate many extraneous variables
      • Practical applications- Studies such as this ae important in helping authorities to understand how to question witnesses to important events such as accidents and crimes
      • Ethical considerations- One possible ethical issue might concern any participants who happened to have experienced  real car crashes
      • Qualititatve and quantitative data- The statistics allow easy comparison of the conditions
      • Sampling bias- The participants were all students not chosen by any representative sampling method. This means that they were unlikley to be representative of the population
      • Reliability- Laboratory procedures ae highly standardised, for example the length of the films was specified, which makes them reliable
      • Validity- The high levels of control imposed by conducting the study in laboratory conditions ensured that few extraneous variables could influence the outcomes


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