Eye witness testimonies form the bedrock of most judicial processes around the world. They make a solid impression on a jury, which has the exclusive role of ascertaining the credibility and veracity of the testimonies and make a verdict based on the truth they hold. This is because perjury is criminal and can subvert the integrity of a trial.
Her main focus has been on the influence of mis leading information in terms of both visual imagery and wording of questions in relation to eyewitness testimony. If someone is exposed to new information during the interval between witnessing the event and recalling it, this new information may have marked effects on what they recall.
The original memory can be modified, changed or supplemented. The fact the eyewitness testimony can be unreliable and influenced by leading questions is illustrated by the classic psychology study by Loftus and Palmer Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction described below. Loftus and Palmer Eyewitness testimony research papers Aim: To test their hypothesis that the language used in eyewitness testimony can alter memory.
Thus, they aimed to show that leading questions could distort eyewitness testimony accounts and so have a confabulating effect, as the account would become distorted by cues provided in the question. To test this Loftus and Palmer asked people to estimate the speed of motor vehicles using different forms of questions.
Estimating vehicle speed is something people are generally poor at and so they may be more open to suggestion. Forty-five American students formed an opportunity sample. This was a laboratory experiment with five conditions, only one of which was experienced by each participant an independent measures experimental design.
After watching the film participants were asked to describe what had happened as if they were eyewitnesses. The estimated speed was affected by the verb used. The results show that the verb conveyed an impression of the speed the car was travelling and this altered the participants' perceptions.
In other words, eyewitness testimony might be biased by the way questions are asked after a crime is committed. Loftus and Palmer offer two possible explanations for this result: The misleading information provided may have simply influenced the answer a person gave a 'response-bias' but didn't actually lead to a false memory of the event.
For example, the different speed estimates occur because because the critical word e.
The memory representation is altered: The critical verb changes a person's perception of the accident - some critical words would lead someone to have a perception of the accident being more serious.
This perception is then stored in a person's memory of the event. If the second explanation is true we would expect participants to remember other details that are not true. Loftus and Palmer tested this in their second experiment. Afterwards the students were questioned about the film.
The independent variable was the type of question asked. It was manipulated by asking 50 students 'how fast were the car going when they hit each other? One week later the dependent variable was measured - without seeing the film again they answered ten questions, one of which was a critical one randomly placed in the list: Participants who were asked how fast the cars were going when they smashed were more likely to report seeing broken glass.
This research suggests that memory is easily distorted by questioning technique and information acquired after the event can merge with original memory causing inaccurate recall or reconstructive memory. The results from experiment two suggest that this effect is not just due to a response-bias because leading questions actually altered the memory a participant had for the event.Loftus and Palmer () Study.
Aim: To test their hypothesis that the language used in eyewitness testimony can alter memory.. Thus, they aimed to show that leading questions could distort eyewitness testimony accounts and so have a confabulating effect, as the account would become distorted by cues provided in the question.
The study on eyewitness testimony by Loftus and Palmer includes two experiments. In the second experiment, the use of verbs ‘smashed’ and ‘hit’ led to different responses from the participants.
Eyewitness Testimony: Effects of Gender on Memory Recall Abstract Eyewitness testimony is a frequently used tool in the judicial system.
Although studies have shown that eyewitness testimony is not always accurate due to the many different factors that affect our everyday memory, this study focused on gender being a factor in memory recall. Wells is optimistic that such psychological research can have a profound impact on both police's evidence-gathering practices and on how courtrooms inform juries-like the Fairbanks jury-of the possibility that flaws may exist in eyewitness accounts.
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Aug 13, · Researchers have been studying eyewitness testimony for over a century because of the frailties of human memory and the important role that it plays in wrongful convictions.