Loftus and Palmer

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  • Loftus
    • Aim
      • Show eye witness testimonies can be changed by leading questions
    • Procedure
      • opportunity sample of 45 American students used lab with 5 conditions with independent measure design
      • Shown slides of car accident involving multiple cars
      • Asked questions to describe scene
      • Specific question 'how fast were the cars going when they...'
      • Each group had different word: hit, smashed, collided, bumped, contacted
    • Findings
      • smashed= thought car speed increasingly  higher than bumped
    • Evaluation
      • Only America (Cultural Bias) Can't generalise
      • Small sample size
      • Loftus Broken glass experiment helps prove
      • Practical Applications-how interviews are structured
      • No emotional arousal only watching footage
      • Asked straight after seen it (not like real life)
      • Has lab based level of control
    • Conclusion
      • Certain words can distort memory and leading questions can alter the validity of a witnesses statement


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