Factors affecting EWT: anxiety

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  • Created by: kateida0
  • Created on: 16-05-18 19:14

definiton- Anxietya state of emotional and physical arousal, the emotions include having worried thoughts and feelings of tension, physical changes include an increased heart rate and sweatiness. anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful situations, but can affect the accuracy and detail of EWT.

Anxiety has a negative effect on recall-

Johnson and Scott: weapons focus

procedure- both groups heard a heated arguement, low anxiety group saw man walk out with pen and grease on hands, high heard glass break and saw man with bloody paper knife

findings- 49% low anxiety had accurate recall of who they saw whereas only 33% for high anxiety. Tunnel theory of memory argues that a witness's attention is focused on the weapon as is source of danger and anxiety

Anxiety has positive effect on recall-

Yuille and Cutshall: Shooting

procedure- interviewed participants who had witnessed a real-life crime of gun store owner shooting a thief dead 4-5 months after incident, compared accounts to those of the police interviews at the time of the shooting and rated level of stress experienced on 7-point scale

Findings- witnesses were very accurate and had little change in accounts over 5 months, participants who reported highest levels of stress…


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