OCR AS Psychology: Core Studies - Loftus and Palmer (3)

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  • Created by: Majid
  • Created on: 13-03-13 11:25

Loftus and Palmer (3)

Experiment 1 - Results:

  • Verb used in critical question = Smashed; Mean speed estimate = 40.8
  • Verb used in critical question = Collided; Mean speed estimate =  39.3
  • Verb used in critical question = Bumped; Mean speed estimate = 38.1
  • Verb used in critical question = Hit; Mean speed estimate = 34.0
  • Verb used in critical question = Contacted; Mean speed estimate = 31.8

Table 1 shows the speed estimates for the verb used in the estimation of speed question. These results howed how the phraisng of the question brought a change to the speed estimate. The verb "smashed" had a higher speed estimate than the verb "contacted".

Explanation of Results: Loftus and Palmer gave 2 interpretions/explanations for the results. Firstly, they argued that the results could have been due to a distortion in the memory of the participant. The participant's memory of the event (car accident) could have been affected by the way in which the critical question had been asked. Secondly, the results could have been due to response bias factors. This means the participant wasn't wholly sure of the exact speed and adjusted their estimate to fit in with the expectations of the questioner (e.g. demand characteristics)

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