Research into the accuracy of EWT

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  • Created by: charlie
  • Created on: 21-05-13 20:08

Outline research into the accuracy of eye witness testimony (6 mark)

Loftus and Palmer (1974) conducted a study to investigate misleading questions in eyewitness testimony. They procured a sample of 45 students, and showed them 7 films of car accidents that involved two cars crashing into each other. When asked to recall the information, a critical question (leading) was included in the interview – “What speed were the cars going when they ______”. The gap was replaced with a number of verbs including crashed, hit, collided, smashed, contacted and bumped; with the more aggressive ‘smashed’ being expected to show higher speed results as it makes it sound like the crash happened at a higher speed. The results showed that smashed (the most violent) resulted in higher estimates than the less leading verb ‘contacted’ (41.8 MPH to 31.8 MPH). This therefore suggests that accuracy…


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