Loftus & Palmer (1974)

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What did L&P want to find out from this study?
Whether leading questions would affect peoples estimates of speed.
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What would this be applied to?
The use of leading questions in court.
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How many pp were there and how were they grouped?
45 participants from a university in America were split into 5 independent groups.
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What are the details about the films they watched?
There were 7 films each lasting between 5 and 30 seconds. They were of a traffic accident.
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What did the pp do after watching the films?
The had to fill in a questionnaire.
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What did they have to do in this?
Give an account of the accident and answer specific questions.
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What was the critical question?
How fast was the car traveling when it ? the car? The ? was replaced with one of the following verbs: smashed, hit, collided, bumped or contacted, one for each of the groups.
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Which verb showed the highest and lowest speed estimate?
Smashed - 40.8mph Contacted - 31.8mph
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How were the rest of the verbs estimated?
Based on the severity of the word
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What did L&P conclude from this?
The wording of a question can affect a witnesses answer.
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What were their two explanations for this?
1. The verb label distorted their memory or 2. They didn't know so they guessed to fit with the verb.
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Why did L&P run a second experiment?
To decide on whether it was the first or second explanation.
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What was the aim for the second experiment?
The same as before, whether leading questions would influence the response of an eyewitness.
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How many pp were there in this experiment?
150 student pp split into 3 groups.
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What did the pp do this time?
They watched a short film of a multiple car accident and were questioned about it. This time only 2 verbs were used.
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What were the questions asked?
The first two groups were asked "How fast were the cars going when they hit/smashed into each other?" while the control group were not interrogated about the speed.
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What did the pp do a week later?
They answered a series of questions including the critical question; did you see any broken glass? There was in fact no broken glass in the film
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What did people say relating to their verb and the broken glass question?
16 of those who heard smashed, 7 who heard hit and 6 of the control group said yes they saw broken glass.
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What does this show?
That the verb has a significant effect.
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What was finally concluded from these experiments?
That leading questions do have an influence on eyewitness testimony.
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What did Loftus and Palmer come up with following this?
The reconstructive hypothesis. This states that we have two kinds of memory from an event what is obtained (the video) and what is supplied (the question).
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What would this be applied to?

Back

The use of leading questions in court.

Card 3

Front

How many pp were there and how were they grouped?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are the details about the films they watched?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What did the pp do after watching the films?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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