Factors affecting EWT - the role of misleading information

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Factors Affecting EWT - The role of misleading information

Study: Loftus and Palmer

Aim:

  • to investigate the effect of leading questions in distorting the accuracy of EWT

Procedure:

  • carried out a labatory investigation
  • 45 American students were shown 7 films of different car accidents
  • given a questionnaire asking them to describe the accident, a series of specific questions including one critical question
  • 'About how fast were the cars going when they ____ eachother?'
  • The participants were divided into 5 groups and each group was asked the critical question with one of the five following verbs:
    Hit
    Smashed
    Collided
    Bumped
    Contacted
  • IV - Wording of the Question
  • DV - Speed reported by the participants

Findings:

  • Those that heard 'smashed' reported the average speed of 40.8
  • Those who heard 'contacted' reported the average speed of 31.8

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