Evaluation of Loftus and Palmer

Research method, design and data gathering.

  • Lab experiment
  • Indepedent measures design

Pros and Cons:

+ High level of control enabling the effect of the IV to be isolated.

+  A casual relationship can be inferred.

-Low in ecoligical validity

  • Quantitative data was gathered

Data gathering method - self-report by questionnaire.

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Ethical concerns?

The participants were decieved as the hypothesis about leading questions was not revealed to them. Distractor questions were used to conceal the hypothesis. - necessary to ensure that demand characteristics did not affect the results.

From the findings, it shows the study was ethically worthy as it shows the debate of how witnesses of events shouldn't or should be questionned to get a true picture of what happened.

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The study is useful as it shows that it is possible to distort the memories of witnesses. The has considerable repurcussions for the Police.

Due to the to the broken glass question. This shows it is not so easy to change the memory of an important event, as the experimentors must have been careful not exagerate the extent to the recall of the leading questions.

Also, if the misleading information is blatently incorrect, people are less likely to take it in and over write previous information.

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Validity and reliability of the study

The findings of the study are low in generalisabilty, where college students are used as subjects, generalisabilty beyond the sample and he wider population is low.


Both experiments carried out provide evidence that the memory of an event can be distorted by information introduced afterwards.

Both experiments are concurrently valid.

As the study study is carried out in a lab, it is low in ecoligical validty.

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