Psychology- Eye Witness Testimony

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What is EWT?
"the evidence given in court or in police investigations by someone who has witnessed a crime or accident."
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Problems with EWT are?
Used as an aid for criminal justice system, but psychologists have found it highly inaccurate and inefficient. Frusta et al suggested 1000s of people a year wrongly convicted on basis of inaccurate EWT
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Four factors affecting EWT are?
Anxiety, age and reconstructive memory and leading questions.
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Anxiety affecting EWT related research - Loftus and Burns
people who witness unpleasant or anxiety provoking situations have much less accurate recall than those who witnessed mundane situations
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The Weapon effect - Loftus
"Bystanders focus on weapon not identity"
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Anxiety affecting EWT related research - Clifford and Scott
People who witnessed film of violent attack remembered less of the 40 items of info than the people who saw a less stressful version
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Anxiety affecting EWT related research - Yuille and Cutshall
Interviewed 13 witnesses of shooting in Canada 4 or 5 months afterwards. Got the to rate stress at event. Recall was accurate even though 2 misleading questions introduced. Those in highest stress group found most accurate.
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Age affecting EWT related research - Deke et al
children more willing to positively identify criminal, often incorrectly. Children more susceptible to reconstructive memory.
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Age affecting EWT related research - Gordon et al
Young children can provide EWT, but could be viewed with caution as susceptible to suggestion.
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Age affecting EWT related research - Yammy
Elderly less accurate than children. 80% of old forgot attacker had knife, 20% of young forgot attacker had knife.
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Misleading questions affecting EWT related research - Loftus and Palmer AO1
Experiment 1) 45 US students, lab setting, 5 conditions one experienced by each ps, 7 films of traffic accidents, after ps asked what happened as if EW, used different verbs like contacted, hit, bumped, smashed. estimated speed was altered by verb.
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Misleading questions affecting EWT related research - Loftus and Palmer AO1
Experiment 2) 150 students, showed film of accident, 50 students asked "how fast were cars going when they hit" and 50 when they "smashed". 50 not asked anything. 1 week later, asked 10 Qs, "any broken glass" (none in film). "smashed" more likely.
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Misleading questions affecting EWT related research - Loftus and Palmer AO2
low ecological validity, Yuille and Cutshall contradict findings, small specific sample used, standardised procedures used
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Way to improve EWT are?
Cognitive interview
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What is cognitive interview?
Interviewer tries to mentally resinate environment and personal context of crime. Try to think from different perspective, different narrative order and report every detail.
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How does cognitive interview work?
Reduces witness' use of prior knowledge, expectations or schema
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Cognitive interview related research - Geiselman et al
Ps viewed film of violent crime, after 48 hours interviewed by police using 3 methods: cognitive interview, standard interview or interview with hypnosis. Average number of correctly recalled facts for cognitive 41.2, hypnosis 38.0 and standard 29.4
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Ways to improve memory?
Organisation, chunking, encoding and retrieval stratagies, active processing, attention and practice.
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Organisation in memory improvement
Use mnemonics, use memory pegs, acronyms and acrostics
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Chunking in memory improvement
Actively increase capacity of STM (Kotona), unique units of info grouped together to decrease volume of info encoded.
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Encoding and retrieval stratagies n memory improvement
Jarabek and Standby found we recall better if in room where info encoded. Ucros claimed we recall better if in similar mood to when info encoded.
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Active processing in memory improvement
Grack and Lockhart suggested memory depends on deep processing and active learning. Deep processing is when info is encoded using meaningful and active systems.
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Role of attention and practice in memory improvement
Ericson and Chase studied SF who could memorise 80 digits. But had to practice them 1 hour a day for 2 years. Saved learning is more effective for LTM retention.
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Card 2

Front

Problems with EWT are?

Back

Used as an aid for criminal justice system, but psychologists have found it highly inaccurate and inefficient. Frusta et al suggested 1000s of people a year wrongly convicted on basis of inaccurate EWT

Card 3

Front

Four factors affecting EWT are?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Anxiety affecting EWT related research - Loftus and Burns

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

The Weapon effect - Loftus

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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