• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

‘So long as you explore the relevant issues and areas, it does not matter how witnesses are asked questions.’ Critically consider this statement in the light of eyewitness testimony research.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'So long as you explore the relevant issues and areas, it does not matter how witnesses are asked questions.' Critically consider this statement in the light of eye witness testimony research. The way an eye witness is asked a question, can seriously affect the reliability of the evidence he/she gives. This is due to the reconstructive nature of memory which was investigated by Bartlett in 1932 using 'War of the Ghosts'. Bartlett believed that memory cannot be replayed like a videotape and therefore suggested that the process of remembering things is an active reconstruction which is affected by schemas. A schema is an organised packet of information stored in long term memory which develops over a lifetime, giving meaning to events, telling you how to behave and what to expect. ...read more.

Middle

Phrases were changed for example 'canoes' to 'boats', unfamiliar names were not recalled and details which were remembered were elaborated upon. From Bartlett's results in this study we cannot assume that memory is like a videotape as recall is not always perfect because it is constantly being influenced by schemas and being reconstructed. The use of different types of language in questioning procedures can therefore influence an eyewitness's schema causing it to change and make the witness believe they have seen something that they have not seen, resulting in an inaccurate eye witness testimony. Schemas can therefore be used to explain how memory can be influenced at encoding and recall, possibly leading to an inaccurate eye witness testimony. ...read more.

Conclusion

These results from Loftus and Palmer (1974) show us that leading questions affect post event information (eye witness testimonies) causing them to change and make the gained information inaccurate, which could lead to an injustice. This research is therefore shows us that the way a witness is questioned is very important as to the accuracy of his or her eye witness testimony. As the language used during questioning, whether leading or misleading, can cause a person's schema and memory of an incident to change and incorporate details which they did not actually see, resulting in an inaccurate eye witness testimony which consequently is of no use in a court case or any other legal proceeding. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology essays

  1. 'It is clear from psychological research into memory and eye-witness testimony that accounts of ...

    Both had alibis but at the trial the store manager positively identified them and they were convicted. A real culprit later confessed and the Sawyers were released. The jury had reliable upon eye-witness testimony, despite contradictory evidence. Another psychologist is Loftus, she did many studies into how language may affect

  2. Report on Psychological Research into Eyewitness Testimony

    I knew that I was in trouble." The next day he was also able to recall conversations with his mother from after the mall scenario, claiming, "I remember mom telling me never to do that again." The memory appeared to be stronger after a few weeks had passed and Chris was invited to the laboratory.

  1. The Effects of leading questions on Eyewitness Testimony

    The data was collected by a single female A level Psychology student researcher. Apparatus * Standardised Instructions (devised by researcher) See Appendix ii * Remote control * 20 Sheets of Paper * 20 Pens * 20 Chairs * A hat (or something else that can be used to draw the ballot)

  2. "Eyewitness testimony differs from many other aspects of memory in that accuracy is of ...

    These findings suggest that participants were using schemas. At the retrieval stage, recall was influenced by the schemas participants had of what objects are usually contained in an office. Bartlett's research shows us just how much memory can be interfered with and that memory is not stored passively as it is often perceived to be.

  1. Cognition & development How a human/child develops knowledge/understanding of everything.

    than Stick B which is longer than Stick C, is Stick A longer than Stick C? * Class inclusion is 4th limitation - children during this stage start to move towards being able to focus on two or more aspects at a time as long as they are concrete, which leads us on to stage 3.

  2. Describe and Evaluate Research by E.Loftus into Eye Witness Testimony, the implications of the ...

    when a man in cowboy boots came into the house and raped the oldest girl who was 10 years old. When police started to investigate the rape, the three girls all remembered the attack differently. One police report said the 10-year old victim did not see her attacker?s face.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work