Eye Witness Testimony

AQA,A Psychology

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Eye-witness testimony is,"the evidence given in court or in
police investigations by someone who has witnessed a crime
or accident."
EWT can be inaccurate due to failings of the human
memory, for example,"some people who were convicted
using EWT have now been cleared through DNA evidence."
'Misinformation acceptance' is when,"memory is distorted
by post-event information."
Leading questions are,"questions that are worded in a way
that they prompt a particular answer."
In Loftus' experiment with the barn,"participants were
divided into two groups and shown the events leading up to
a car accident."
The control group in Loftus' experiment with the barn
was,"where participants were asked questions consistent
with what they'd seen in the film."
The experimental group in Loftus' experiment with the barn
was,"where participants were asked a question containing
misleading information; how fast was the car going when it
passed the barn on the country road?"
The findings of Loftus' experiment with the barn were
that,"more participants from the experimental group
reported having seen a barn in the original film when later
asked than those in the control group, suggesting they'd
absorbed the post-event information into their actual
memory of the event."
Methodological issues of Loftus' experiment with the barn
are,"it was a laboratory experiment, so participants were
prepared to watch the film unlike real life and participants
may have been subject to demand characteristics."

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Ethical issues of Loftus' experiment with the barn are,"she
did not get fully informed consent so debriefing would be
particularly important and video of a car accident may be
distressing, although the one she showed was a minor one
with no injuries."
To test the effect of demand characteristics on Loftus'
experiment with the barn,"participants were asked to
complete a questionnaire about a film 2 days later with one
of the questions containing misleading information.…read more

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EWT's are often distorted because,"participants are not
expecting anything to happen so miss things when they are
not paying attention. These gaps are then filled by
preconceptions."
Schema are,"packets of information from our own
knowledge and experiences that are used to fill gaps in our
memory and make sense of information."
List's experiment on the effect of schema on EWT
used,"films of 8 different shoplifting incidents containing a
mix of high probability and low probability events for a shop
lifting incident.…read more

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Anxiety has been shown to affect EWT as,"participants
shown a video of a boy being shot in the face had impaired
memory for the events leading up to the crime."
The 'weapons effect' is,"where the anxiety caused by a
weapon impairs a person's memory as their main focus is on
the weapon."
An experiment to test the weapons effect shows
that,"participants who had witnessed the peaceful scene
remembered more than those had witnessed the scene with
the man with the bloody knife.…read more

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When asked questions about a staged event as part of
Yarmey's experiment,"elderly people were less likely to
remember the presence of a knife than younger adults."
Elderly people have been shown to be more susceptible to
misleading information because,"when shown a film of a
kidnapping, and then read a narrative either consistent, or
inconsistent with the film, elderly participants who were
read the narrative inconsistent with the film were shown to
make more errors during recall.…read more

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Recall in reverse order (RO) is,"when the EW must report the
episode in several different temporal orders moving
backwards and forwards in time."
Recall from changed perspective (CP) is,"when the EW must
try to describe the episode as it would have been seen from
different viewpoints, not just their own.…read more

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