Effect of Anxiety on eyewitness testimony

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  • Created by: Ambrosia
  • Created on: 07-01-13 10:15

Effect of Anxiety on eyewitness testimony

Deffenbacher anxiety has a negative effect on accuracy

Loftus et al used 2 conditions, one with a weapon and one without. in both conditions participants heard a low key discussion. In condition 1 a man emerged holding a pen with grease on his hands. In two a man emerged with a knife covered in blood. when asked to identify the man from 50 photos participants in condition 1 were 49% accurate. Condition 2 was 33%accurate. anxiety decreases accuracy of recall as the presence of a weapon causes attention to be physically drawn towards the weapon and away from other things such as the perpetrators face. 

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Evaluation of effect of Anxiety

yerkes dodson law states that high or low levels of anxiety = low accuracy but medium levels of anxiety = optimal accuracy

Rinolio et al titanic survivors proves the events can be recorded accurately, even under traumatic circumstances.

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