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Slide 1

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The Reliability of
Cognitive Key Issue…read more

Slide 2

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Eyewitness Testimony
Used in many criminal convictions all over the world
Juries pay extra attention to it + see it as trustworthy and
Is very important evidence as it can lead to cases of
mistaken identity
When someone is found guilty and later found to be
Give a statement
Identify the suspect
Testify in court
Could be swayed by identity line up…read more

Slide 3

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Reconstructive Errors
Memory is not like a tape recorder
Not just playing back information
People extract the gist or underlying meaning
A persons past and current experiences effect a person's memory for
We make sense of info by placing it into schemas which are ways of
organising information
When an input is processed it is interpreted according to past
experiences and schemas
Schemas allow us to make sense of what we encounter so that we can
predict what is going to happen and what we should do in any
Make the world more predictable
Mean that we don't need to store similar info more than once…read more

Slide 4

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Example of a Schema
If you think about a kitchen
Your idea of a kitchen features things like a cooker,
kettle, fridge, cupboards, work surfaces,
This is a schema o a kitchen that you have created
because of past experiences of a kitchen
Now if you go to someone's house for the first time you
may not know where them kitchen is
BUT you would be able to recognise it because of your
kitchen schema
You would also not need to store the information of its
contents because you would already know most of what
is there…read more

Slide 5

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Schemas and
Eyewitness Testimony
By forcing new info into our schemas we may
distort them
This means the information encoded in our
memory will not correspond to exactly what we
When we then recall the info these distortions will
have been incorporated into our recall + so they
may not be entirely accurate…read more

Slide 6

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Elizabeth Loftus
She said that any new info a witness had about a crime had the
potential to distort their recall of event
One source of this was leading questions by lawyers and police
Witnesses could also confer with each other about what they saw and
contaminate each others' accounts
Leading questions:
E.g. the witness could be asked "how many times did Bob Smith hit
the victim?"
This requests info about the incident but also tells the witness who the
perpetrator was
When they are now asked who carried out the assault Bob Smith has
been implanted into their recollection of what happened.
Loftus has done many studies on the subtlety of leading questions
and how they effect recall using car crashes.…read more

Slide 7

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Slide 8

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