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Eyewitness testimony

Reconstructive memory theory Bartlett

Reconstructive: the active process of retrieving memory from stores

We try to reconstruct memories on the basis of what we think probably happened, what
usually happens and what must have happened
we use our schemas to reconstruct memories of experience
schema: a store of…

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AO2: In a reallife car accident the EWT might be more accurate than during a lab
experiment (which questions the ecological validity) because:
1. there is more stimuli for you to store in your memory e.g. sound, smell, etc.
2. `arousal' adrenaline would increase the heart rate that can alter…

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witnessing violence raises witnesses' arousal level past optimum poorer memory performance

Deffenbacher (2004)
metaanalysis of 18 studies showing that anxiety has a negative impact on the accuracy of
however, a few of the studies showed that anxiety may actually also enhance the accuracy

Peters (1988)
study in health clinic…

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AO2: a laboratory experiment all other variables are highly controlled e.g. extra noise could
muffle the conversation
ethics: deception not fully informed consent
independent groups: participant variables
Christianson and Hubinette (1993) undermines the WFE
Kerri Pickel carried out a similar experiment but instead of a knife, the man carried a…

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questioned 5 days later 3 year old recalled in less detail but was no less accurate as others
conclusion: although a child's testimony is just as accurate, different errors are made

Saywitz (1987)
asked children to listen to a crime recorded on tape then recall the incident and then repeat…


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