Loftus and Palmer- Eye witness testimony

  • Created by: Kearnsi
  • Created on: 08-04-15 09:36
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  • Loftus and Palmer (1974
    • Title
      • Study of the effect of wording of questions on witnesses memory of car crashes
    • Aim
      • To test whether the phrasing of questions about a car accident could alter participants' memory of an event.
        • EXP1) whether using different verbs to describe a collision between two cars would affect estimates of the speed.
    • Context
      • Much evidence showed that eye witness testimonies were not as accurate as people wished.
    • Participants
      • EXP 1) 45 students- 5 groups of 9 in each- no details of age or gender
      • EXP 2) 150 participants, 3 groups of 50- no details of age or gender
    • Type of data collected
      • Quantitative data of speed estimate or whether they thought there was glass or not
    • Research Method
      • Laboratory experiment
    • Procedure
      • EXP 1) participants wtached film of multiple car crashes. They were then asked to give a written account of what they had seen and then were made to answer 10 questions. One of which was the critical question of "how far were the cars going when they ... each other."
        • EXP 2) participants underwent similar procedure but were also called back a week later with another group of questions in which the critical question was whether there was glass.
          • IV= which verb was used; smashed, contacted and control group who were not asked the speed question
        • IV= which verb was used; smashed, hit, contacted, collided and bumped
    • Results
      • EXP 1
        • bumped 38.1mph
        • Collided 39.3mph
        • hit 34mph
        • Smashed 40.5mph
        • contacted 31.8mph
      • EXP 2
        • Smashed 16/50 yes
        • hit 7/50 yes
        • control 6/50 yes
    • Conclusion
      • 2 reasons for results of EXP 1
        • response bias- the verb gives them a clue ti whether they should estimate high or low
        • memory distortion- the verb alters the person's memory of the crash
          • The second EXP was used to show that this is the explanation of the results of first EXP
    • Evaluation
      • Sample was not representative
        • only students
      • Because participants were students of the researchers= demand characteristics
      • Laboratory experiment
        • high control of extraneous variables
          • highly replicable
        • Low ecological validity
      • Important implications
      • quantitative data
        • easy to interpret
        • lacks detail


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