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Eyewitness testimony

Process of EWT

Witness encodes into LTM details. May only be partial encoding due to the rapid ness
of the event.
Retains the information ­ memories may be modified or lost
Retrieval ­ what happens during reconstruction may significantly affect accuracy

Factors influencing EWT

Anxiety Loftus study (1979)…

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() lacks validity ­ field studies get different results
() ethical issues ­ welfare of P. who were deceived. Shocking to see blood stained
knife.


Age of Witness

Children

How much is remembered?

Inferior to adults
Amount of info that can be recalled increases with age
Inferior encoding, storage, retrieval…

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Older versus younger adults

Older

More likely to choose someone from a line up even when culprit is not present.
Influenced by misleading questions.
More likely to produce false memories triggered by misleading suggestions.
Confident about correctness of false memories.
Own age bias ­ more accurate when culprit was of…

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With more severe verb, P. were more likely to report having seen broken glass (non
existent)

Conclusion

Combined findings of the two show that leading information of the verb in the speed
question affects way in which the event was represented in memory.
Over time, misleading information was integrated with…

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Strategies for memory improvement

Mnemonics
Verbal Mnemonics
A variety of memory improvement techniques focused on words.
1. Acronym Word or sentence formed from initial letters of others.
2. Acrostic Poem or sentence where first letter in each line forms item to be remembered, e.g.
for planets My Very Easy Method…

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