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Rebecca Burke 13cPSYB3: Cognition and Law

PSYCHOLOGY PSYB3 ­ Cognition and Law revision

Feature analysis theory

Bottom-up theory
Analyzing features is key to recognition
Shepherd et al (1979) found features are used heavily in free recall of faces suggesting that
faces of people we do not know very well tend…

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Rebecca Burke 13cPSYB3: Cognition and Law


Diary studies and laboratory research supports the Bruce and Young model
Takes account of the face that face recognition is complex and involves emotional and semantic
Predicts and explains everyday observations
Does not take into account why patients with prosopagnosia (cannot recognize…

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Rebecca Burke 13cPSYB3: Cognition and Law


Early systems had limited number of features, lacking distinctive or unusual ones
Real composites are normally used so that members of the public can recognize someone they
are familiar with e.g. neighbor. Brace et al (2000) found that student judges could successfully

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Rebecca Burke 13cPSYB3: Cognition and Law

o Demand characteristics; if the police officer conducting the identification procedure
knows the identity of the real suspect this could have an effect on the witness's ability to
make an unbiased identification. They make pick up unintentional cues
o Feedback; if the witness believe…

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Rebecca Burke 13cPSYB3: Cognition and Law

b. Witness discussion ­ post-event discussion between witnesses can lead to distortion
of memory. Memon and Wright (1999) reported the cause of Timonthy McVeight, the
Oklahoma bomber. Out of three witnesses, only one originally reported seeing an
accomplice and it was only later that…

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Rebecca Burke 13cPSYB3: Cognition and Law

Improving eye-witness recall

The cognitive interview was proposed by Fisher and Geiselman (1992) and involved four
procedures which have been found to enhance eyewitness testimonies;
1. Context is reinstated; interviewers ask about the day e.g. what mood they were in
2. They are encouraged…

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Rebecca Burke 13cPSYB3: Cognition and Law

Candel et al showed children videos either alone or as a member of a pair (each member of pair
seeing a different video), in one video there was no coca cola. After discussion, 60% of paired
children recalled an event from the alternate video…

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Rebecca Burke 13cPSYB3: Cognition and Law

However the details of these memories can be forgotten; Neisser and Harsch (1992)
interviewed people the day after the Challanger space shuttle exploded and again 3 years later.
Data comparison showed there were inconsistencies and less details 3 years later.
Research into the neural…

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Rebecca Burke 13cPSYB3: Cognition and Law

repression. Levinger and Clark (1961) gave participants a set of negative words and a set of
neutral words. They had to provide an associated word for each stimulus word and later had to
remember what word went with the cue word. Fewer associated words…

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Rebecca Burke 13cPSYB3: Cognition and Law

these recalled the event compared to 25% in control group. This shows false memories can be
facilitated by photographs


Laboratory studies show that it is possible to implant memories of events that never happened
For ethical reasons, the supposed events in these studies…


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