Loftus and Palmer (1974)

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Title of the study?
'Reconstruction of automobile destruction'
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Context of the study?
Research into memory, Leading questions and Estimating speed.
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What has research into memory shown?
Memories do not simply record events and they are NOT accurate.
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What is a leading question?
A question phrased in a way for a person to give a particular answer.
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What has estimating speeds shown?
People are inaccurate when estimating speeds of vehicles.
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Name a previous study about estimating speeds and what they found.
Marshall (1969) found that Air Force personnel were very inaccurate, estimates of car at 12mph = 10.50mph.
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How many studies were there?
2 studies
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Aim of study 1?
To investigate the accuracy of memory and the effect of leading questions on what people remember.
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Aim of study 2?
To see if the leading question changed a person's subsequent memory of the event they witnessed.
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Sample of study 1?
45 American college students
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How many groups were the P's divided into?
5 groups
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Sampling methodology in study 1?
Opportunistic sample (Doesn't actually say though)
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Sample of study 2?
150 American college students
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How many groups were the P's divided into?
3 groups
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Sampling methodology in study 2?
Opportunistic sample (Doesn't actually say though)
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2 strengths of the sample?
Easy to recruit through college staff and It is cost-effective.
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2 weaknesses of the sample?
Ethnocentric (Can't generalise) and All students (may have better memories than older generation - Can't generalise).
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Research method of both studies?
Laboratory studies using independent measure designs.
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Snapshot or Longitudinal of study 1?
Snapshot study
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Independent variables in study 1?
Verb used to describe the accident.
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Dependent variables in study 1?
Estimate of speed.
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An appropriate hypothesis for study 1?
P's in each group provide different estimates of speed the car was travelling at the time of the accident.
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Snapshot or Longitudinal of study 2?
Longitudinal study
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Independent variables in study 2?
Verb used to describe the accident.
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Dependent variables in study 2?
Reporting whether broken glass was seen or not.
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An appropriate hypothesis for study 2?
P's who believe the car was travelling faster ('smashed group') are more likely to report broken glass than P's in the other 2 groups ('hit'+control group).
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3 strengths of the research method?
High control, Easily replicable and Can establish cause+effect.
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2 weaknesses of the research method?
Lacks Ecological validity (Artificial setting) and Potential demand characteristics.
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How many film clips were shown in study 1?
7 film clips.
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What happened after the film clips were shown? (study 1)
P's were asked Q's about the film clips including one critical question.
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What was the critical question in study 1?
"How fast were the cars going when they X each other?"
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X stands for the verb, what were the 5 conditions (verbs)? (study 1)
Group 1: 'Hit", Group 2: 'contacted', Group 3: 'Smashed', Group 4: 'Bumped' and Group 5: 'Collided'
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How many parts were there to the procedure of study 2?
2 parts
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What happpened at the start of the first part?
The P's were shown a film of a car accident.
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What happened next?
They were then asked questions about the film clips including one critical question.
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What was the critical question in the first part of study 2?
"How fast were the cars going when they X each other?"
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How many conditions were there? and what were they?
3 conditions - Experimental group 1 with the verb 'smashed', Experimental group 2 with the verb 'hit' and the control group where no question was asked.
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What happened at the start of part 2 of study 2?
P's were asked to return to the laboratory one week later.
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What happenned when they returned to the lab?
They were asked more questions about the film clips including a critical question.
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What was the critical question in part 2?
"Did you see any broken glass?"
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Was there actually any broken glass in the film in study 2?
No
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Study 1: What were the mean estimates of speed?
'Smashed': 40.8mph, 'Collided': 39.3mph, 'Bumped': 38.1mph, 'Hit': 34.0mph, 'Contacted': 31.8mph
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Were the P's able to accurately estimate the speed? Give a piece of evidence to support this
No because in 4 of the films, the speeds were: 20mph, 30mph, 30mph and 40mph yet P's estimated speeds between 36mph and 40mph.
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Study 2: What were the mean speed estimates?
'Smashed': 10.46mph and 'Hit': 8.0mph
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What were results from part 2 (Broken glass)?
'Smashed': 16 P's reported broken glass, 'Hit': 7 P's reported broken glass and Control group: 6 P's reported broken glass
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How many P's in total reported no broken glass?
121 out of 150 reported no broken glass.
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2 strengths of quantitative data in this study?
Easy to calculate a mean speed and Easy to draw conclusions.
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2 weaknesses of quantitative data in this study?
No explanation of why individuals estimated speeds the way they did (superficial) and Knowledge produced might be too general for application.
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Study 1: What do the results show?
Leading questions can affect the accuracy of memory.
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What were the 2 explanations that Loftus and Palmer proposed?
Response bias factors and The memory representation is altered.
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What is meant by response bias factors?
Different speed estimates occur as the critical word influences a person's response.
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What did they mean by 'The memory representation is altered'?
The critical word changes a person's perception of the accident.
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What did Loftus and Palmer conclude about part 1 of experiment 2?
Leading questions can influence the answer given.
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What did they conclude from part 2 of experiment 2?
This effect is NOT just due to response-bias as leading questions alter the memory a participant had for an event.
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What is memory determined by according to Loftus and Palmer?
One's own perception at the time of the original event and External information supplied after the event.
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True/False: Over time information is integrated in such a way, you can no longer distinguish between them?
True
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Ethical Issues with Loftus and Palmer?
Protection from harm (exposed to real car accident)
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Possible applications of Loftus and Palmer?
Helps police in catching real criminals instead of wrong people.
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Possible changes to Loftus and Palmer?
Use a real eyewitness testimony + interview them after real accidents (more natural setting) and Select sample from general public via adverts etc.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Context of the study?

Back

Research into memory, Leading questions and Estimating speed.

Card 3

Front

What has research into memory shown?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is a leading question?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What has estimating speeds shown?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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