Age differences of Eyewitness testimony

Questions and answers on studies that research the effect of age on eye witness testimony.

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Questions on the study conducted by Yarmey

1) What was the procedure?

2) What were the findings?

3) What is the evaluation?

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Answers to questions in card 1

1) Yarmey stopped 651 adults in public places and asked them to recall the characteristics of a young woman who they'd spoken to for 15 seconds just 2 minutes earlier.

2) All young (18-29), middle aged (30-44) and older (45-65) participants had the same accurcay in recall.

3) This is a good study because it follows the ethical guidelines-it does not put the particicpants in any serious danger. It is also good because there are participants of a wide age range. However, it is not realistic because the participants are not experiencing any anxiety that they would in a real life incident. Also, the participants are not tested on for a time longer than 2 minutes after the event which might not be realistic.

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Questions on the study by Memon et al.

1) What was the procedure of this study?

2) What were the results?

3) What is the evaluation?

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Answers to the questions in Card 3

1) Memon studied the accuracy of young (16-33 year old) and older (60-82 year old) eyewitnesses. The participants were involved in an identification task 35 minutes after the crime and 1 week after it.

2) When the two groups were questioned 35 minutes after the event, there was no difference in the accuracy in recall. However, when there was a delay of 1 week, the older witnesses were less accurate than the younger witnesses.

3) This is a good study because it resembles real life events. But it is not good because there are no results for middle aged eye witnesses. 

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