Loftus and Palmer

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What is the background of this study?
L&P trying to show that memories can be distorted by other info, which occurs after the event. Earlier studies include Bartlett who showed that memories are not accurate records of our experiences.
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What year did this study take place?
1974
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Aim?
To investigate how information supplied after an event influences a witness's memory for that event.
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IV and DV?
IV= Verb used DV=experiment 1-speed estimated, experiment 2-glass/no glass
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Design, method and data collected
2 lab experiments, independent measures, quantitative data mainly but some qualitative (account of clips)
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Sample?
Experiment 1 - 45 students from University of Washington. Experiment 2 - 150 students from the same Uni. Opportunity sample.
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Outline the procedure of experiment 1
shown 7 clips of car accidents, ranged from 5-30secs. After each, student asked to write an account. Also answered specific q's but main q was to do with speed of collision. 5 conditions with 9 p's in each, verb changed. 1.5 hours long, order varied.
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What was the question and 5 verbs used?
"About how fast were the cars going when they _______ into each other?" Verbs: smashed, collided, bumped, hit, contacted.
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What were the findings of experiment 1?
Phrasing of question brought about a change in speed estimated. 'Smashed' = highest estimate of 40.8, 'Contacted' = lowest estimate of 31.8
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Why did these findings occur?
1. Distortion in memory due to verbal label used to characterise intensity of crash. 2. response-bias factor = participant not sure of speed so adjusts estimate to fit expectations of questioner (demand characteristics)
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Outline the procedure of experiment 2
Shown 1 min film with 4-sec car accident. 3 conditions with 50 p's each- same q as first exp. used verbs hit and smashed, 50 had no interrogation. 1 week later p's returned & without seeing film asked "did you see any broken glass?" No glass in film.
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What were the findings of experiment 2?
verb in q had significant effect on mis-perception of glass. Smashed=most yeses (16), more than twice as many as hit (7) and control (6)
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What is meant by the reconstructive hypothesis?
L&P argue that two kinds of info go into a person's memory of a complex event. First is info obtained from perceiving event, second is other info supplied to us after event. Over time, info from 2 sources may be integrated. All we have is 1 'memory'.
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Strengths of the study?
High control of variables, objective, q's order changed so no order effect, practical applications - eyewitness testimony.
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Weaknesses of the study?
Low EV - artifical, not as personal as witnessing in real life. Students only - not representative as less experienced drivers so more likely to be influenced but also students tend to be more observant than adults.
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Ethics?
Participants shown real film clip of car crash which could have caused them distress.
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What year did this study take place?

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1974

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Aim?

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Card 4

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IV and DV?

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Card 5

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Design, method and data collected

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