Yuille and Cutshall (1986)

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  • Yuille and Cutshall (1986)
    • Background
      • Real witnesses of a real gun shooting
      • It is more of a case study because it looks at a particular crime
      • Vancouver, Canada
    • Aims
      • to record and evaluate witness accounts
      • To examine issues raised by laboratory research
      • to look at witness verbatim accounts
    • Procedure
      • Participants
        • 13 agreed to take part
      • Interview Procedure
        • The police interviewed witnesses and recorded it by hand.
        • Each witness was asked to describe the event
        • The police interview reports were verbatim
        • 4 to 5 months later they were interviewed by the researchers
        • Research interviews were recorded on audiotape and transcibed
        • Research interview followed the same procedure as the police interview
        • In the research interview two misleading quesetions were added
        • The research interview also asked about the degree of stress that witnesses experienced
        • They were asked if they had any problems afterwards
      • Scoring Procedure
        • A careful scoring procedure was used
        • This was to help with comparing the two different interviews
        • It was divided into action and description details
        • Description details were then split into object and people descriptions
    • Results
      • The research interview gathered more information than the police interview
      • Police achieved more action details
      • Both groups had equal accuray in recall
      • Witnesses were still accurate after 4 to 5 months after the event
      • Misleading questions had little effect on answers
    • Conclusion
      • Findings show that witnesses are not inaccurate in their accounts
      • They may have been studying flashbulb memory
      • Stress did not effect accounts
    • Evaluation
      • Strengths
        • It has a high validity because it looks at real witnesses and real events
        • Findings are also reliable
      • Weaknesses
        • There are problems with generalising
        • Could be influenced by researcher bias


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