Yuille & Cutshall (1986)

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  • Created on: 15-01-13 21:22
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Yuille & Cutshall (1986)
To record and evaluate witness accounts, considering accuracy and the type
of error made.
To examine issues raised in lab experiments.
4/5 months after a shooting (One dead, one injured)
13 witnesses (out of the original 21), aged 15-32 years old, agreed to return
and be interviewed.
Recorded on audiotape.
Interviews were compared to the original one they gave after the event.
(police interview)
Two misleading questions where included
o Broken Headlight
o Colour of the car panel
Information was sorted into categories: ACTION & DESCRIPTION details.
Highly accurate in accounts
Little change in amount and accuracy over the 5 months
Misleading questions had little effect on recall
Stress levels had no negative effect
Results differ greatly from those found in lab studies
Shouldn't dismiss Loftus & Palmer, as the incident used was unique and
High ecological validity as the participants where in a natural setting.
o Also real levels of emotion, retention and attention so the study is
applicable to real life situations.
Reliable and objective
o Great care was taken when counting the details of the testimonies to
ensure they did not alter what really happened.
o Not all the original witnesses took part in the study ­ right to
withdraw & consent
o Not put under any extra ethical strain by unnecessary testing (as
participants had already witnessed the event).
Ethical issues
o Leading questions where put into the interview ­ deception

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Stress from having to relive events ­ distress
Not generalizable as the event was unique. The study may have given different
results were a less shocking crime used such as a robbery. (Also small sample
size from one town in Canada)
Data was turned from qualitative into quantitative so there may have been
bias during the interpretation of results.
The notion of FLASHBULB MEMORY.…read more


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