Studies of the accuracy of eyewitness testimony

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  • Created by: racheon
  • Created on: 05-04-14 13:41
Who did the main studies into accuracy of eyewitness testimony, and what did they investigate?
Loftus and Palmer investigated whether misleading information affects the accuracy of eyewitness testimony.
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What was the aim of Loftus and Palmer's first experiment?
To investigate the effect of a leading question on eyewitness accounts.
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What was the procedure of Loftus and Palmer's first experiment?
Participants in a lab were shown a video of a car crash. They were split into 5 groups, only taking part in 1 condition. Each group was given a questionnaire with a different leading question.
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How were the leading question different for each group in Loftus and Palmer's first experiment?
They had the leading question 'How fast were the cars going when they __ into each other?' with the words being smashed, bumped, hit, contacted or collided.
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What were the findings of Loftus and Palmer's first experiment?
Participants with the word smashed estimated the highest speed.
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What was the aim of Loftus and Palmer's second experiment?
To investigate the effect of leading questions on later memory recall.
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What was the procedure of Loftus and Palmer's second experiment?
Participants watch a video of a car accident then filled in a questionnaire with the question 'How fast were the cars going when they __ into each other' with smashed, hit or no leading question. 1 week later they were asked if they saw any glass.
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What were the finding of Loftus and Palmer's second experiment?
More participants in the smashed group reported seeing broken glass.
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What was the conclusion after both of Loftus and Palmer's experiments?
The memory of some participants were influenced by the word smashed, which led them to assume a high speed and the presence of glass, suggesting that leading questions have an effect on eyewitness testimony.
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What were the strengths of Loftus and Palmer's research?
The experiment was very controlled and the participants were matched. The information was the same for all participants, and the research has changed the was questions are asked by the police and in courts.
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What were the weaknesses of Loftus and Palmer's research?
Watching a video is not the same as real life, where you would have perceptual clues that could help memory. Students were used and might have good memory, they may not wanted to appear stupid which may have influenced their responses.
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What research supports Loftus and Palmer's research?
Further research by Loftus, where participants were shown pictures of a stop sign and were asked misleading or not misleading questions on them.
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What did Loftus find in their study?
That identification of the original photos was most accurate after not misleading questions, which shows misleading information does affect accuracy of recall.
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Who else studied the accuracy of eyewitness testimony?
Yuille and Cutshall.
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What was the aim of Yuille and Cutshall's experiment?
To investigate eyewitness accounts of a real event.
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What was the procedure of Yuille and Cutshall's experiment?
The police interviewed 21 witnesses of a shooting. A few months later 13 were re-interviewed. A misleading question about busted headlights of a car and it's colour.
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What were the findings of Yuille and Cutshall's experiment?
More information was obtained from the second interview, and the misleading questions had no effect.
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What was the conclusion of Yuille and Cutshall's experiment?
Their findings were very different from Loftus and Palmer's, suggesting real events produce more accurate recall. The violence of the event didn't reduce accuracy.
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Evaluate Yuille and Cutshall's experiment.
The situation was real so had high ecological validity. The settings of each interview may have been different and made recall easier or difficult, so reduces reliability.
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How did Braun et al. do their study?
They asked 167 college students to evaluate adverts about Disneyland which contained misleading information about Bugs Bunny, Ariel or a control group. All had visited Disneyland.
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What did Braun et al.'s study show?
Participants in the Bugs Bunny or Ariel group were more likely to have reported shaking hands with these characters, which shows how misleading information can create a false memory.
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Who's research does Braun et al. support and why?
Loftus and Palmer's because it shows that storage was affected by misleading information.
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What was the strength of Braun et al.'s study?
The misleading information led participants to alter their memories, and the false memories generated expectations about their experiences. This supports the view that misleading information can create unreliable eyewitness testimony.
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Define eyewitness testimony.
The evidence provided in court by a person who witnessed a crime with a view to identifying the perpetrator of the crime. The accuracy of it may be affected during initial encoding, storage and retrieval.
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Define misleading information.
Information that suggests to the witness what answer is desired, or leads them to the desired answer.
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What did Bekerian and Bowers do?
They did a lab experiment to investigate whether misleading information alters the way information is stored is retrieved by repeating the stop sign study.
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What did Berkerian and Bowers find?
That when information was given in the right sequence, misleading questions had no effect on recalling the data, which suggests misleading information effects retrieval rather than storage.
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What did Wells and Olsen report after their study?
That mistaken eyewitness identification was the largest factor in convicting innocent people.
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How does gender affect the accuracy of eyewitness testimony?
Men and women take interest in different aspects of the scene but both are equally accurate.
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How does age affect the accuracy of eyewitness testimony?
Elderly people are less able to remember the source of information.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What was the aim of Loftus and Palmer's first experiment?

Back

To investigate the effect of a leading question on eyewitness accounts.

Card 3

Front

What was the procedure of Loftus and Palmer's first experiment?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How were the leading question different for each group in Loftus and Palmer's first experiment?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What were the findings of Loftus and Palmer's first experiment?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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