Factors affecting eye witness testimony: Anxiety- Describe and evaluate for 16 marks


Discuss research into anxiety as a factor affecting eyewitness testimony (16 marks)


  • The unpleasant emotional state caused by a situation and associated with an increase in breathing and heart rate
  • Can have a positive effect on eye witness testimonies (EWT)
    • Fight or flight triggers alertness
    • Evolution => it would be of an advantage for us to remember how to react to the same stimulus in the future
    • Research= Yuille and Cutshall. Real-life shooting, gathered EWT. 5 months later EWs were interviewed and the most anxious people provided the most accurate information (possible because they wanted to help the police).
  • Can have a negative effect
    • Weapon focus
    • Fight or flight causes us to prioritise survival NOW over remembering information LATER
    • Research=Johnson and Scott. Participants (ppts)


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