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Loftus and Palmer (1974)
AIM: To see if leading questions affect the accuracy of recall
METHOD: Two groups of participants were shown a film of a car
crash. One group was asked to estimate the speed the car was
going when it hit the other car, the other group was asked to
estimate the speed the car was going when it smashed the
other car.
RESULTS: The group whose question included the word
`smashed' gave a higher average estimate of speed than the
group whose question used the word `hit'.…read more

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LOFTUS AND PALMER cont...
CONCLUSION: The word `smashed' influenced the estimate, so
leading questions do affect accuracy of recall.
EVALUATION: The participants were shown a film of a car crash.
A real car crash is likely to be far more surprising and
emotionally affecting than this.
APPLICATION: Police questioning ­ police and other
investigators should avoid using leading questions when
questioning witnesses as these may cause inaccuracies.…read more

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High Low
Speed Speed…read more

Slide 5

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SMASHED
EFFECTS
ACCURACY OF
RECALL
HIT…read more

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PRACTICAL APPLICATION
Police should
avoid using
`leading
questions' as it
can cause a less
accurate recall…read more

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