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Name of study: Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction: An Example of the Interaction Between Language and Memory

Author(s): Loftus & Palmer

Approach: Cognitive Approach
Background information (what theories/issues of previous research is the study based on?)

The Multi-store Model

Memories can be interfered with, deleted and replaced.
The idea that people…

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Advantages Disadvantages
Fully controlled ­ can control for extraneous variables, Demand characteristics ­ guessing the aim of the study.
cause-and-effect relationships can be established, we can Not testing the true aim threatens validity.
be sure the DV is caused by manipulation of the IV.
Easy to replicate, test reliability and…

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50 of the participants were asked 'How fast were the cars going when they hit each other?'
50 of the participants were asked 'How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?'
50 of the participants were not interrogated about the speed of the vehicles.
One week…

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List the findings:

In the first part of the study they were measuring the mean estimated speed for each condition.
When the very "smashed" was used to describe the speed of the car footage the mean estimated speed in mph
was higher than all the other conditions, it was 40.5.…

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The way witnesses are dealt with by the police and in the court rooms.
Police should now no longer use misleading questions and any hint of a leading question can lead to the witness as being
classed as unreliable.

What evaluation issues relate to this study and why?
Must include:…

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Deception ­ participants weren't told the true aim of the study, they had information withheld from them. Deception would
have been justified as necessary to reduce the risk of demand characteristics and increase natural response. But with
deception comes lack of informed consent because ideally participants should be able to…

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Check if the results
are ethnocentric as
the sample in this
improvement is
wider to other


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