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

Outline and evaluate research into the effect of misleading information on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Outline and evaluate research into the effect of misleading information on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony (12 marks) Misleading questions are when questions are used to give a false memory to a person giving an eyewitness testimony, for example ?was the knife used?? rather than ?was a knife used??. The use of the word ?the? assumes there was a knife present, where there may not have been. This means the participant may subconsciously create a memory around the idea of a knife being there, meaning they may not even realize they?re doing it. One study to investigate misleading questions is the Loftus and Palmer (1974) study, the reconstruction of automobile destruction, which aimed to test their hypothesis that language used in eyewitness testimony can alter memory. They aimed to test whether leading questions can distort memories. ...read more.

Middle

Some were asked "Did you see a broken headlight?" and others were asked "Did you see the broken headlight?" There was no broken headlight in the film clip. Out of participants asked if they saw the headlight, 17% said they had seen it in comparison to those asked if seen a headlight, where 7%^ said they had seen it. They concluded The use of leading questions in an interview can lead to the creation of false memories by the eyewitness - therefore eyewitness testimony is subject to inaccuracy and its reliability can be questioned. Despite this, Yuille and Cutshall (1986) founds that in circumstances of high or low stress/anxiety, efficiency of memory is much worse. The optimum level is in the middle of the two, which is where the Loftus and Palmer study may have taken place. ...read more.

Conclusion

Loftus and Pickrell found that significantly more people from the group with the bugs bunny outline remembered seeing him in comparison to the group without the bugs bunny outline. This supports the idea that information we receive after creating a memory can alter that memory. One piece of refuting evidence is Loftus (1979). Loftus showed participants a set of slides that showed the theft of a large red purse from a handbag, they were then asked to read an account of the theft, the story gave the error that the purse had been brown, it was found that most participants except for 2, correctly remembered that the purse was red. This means, for information that is noticeable, the person who saw the event is more likely to keep their original memory intact. This shows that the original study may have lacked relevance & importance to the participants and this may have contributed to the differing findings. ...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. Stroop Effect

    Variables that were successfully controlled include. * Standardised instructions. This is where the experimenter explained the instructions the same way to every participant thereby reducing experimenter bias. * Participants were all na�ve. This made sure that no participants had ever heard of the Stroop effect which could affect their performance * The stop watch was used to time participant's performances in each of the conditions.

  2. Report on Psychological Research into Eyewitness Testimony

    Brewer and Treyens found that the participants automatically used schemas in order to remember the items in the room. They assumed due to their schemas that the room was an office, and so when asked to recall the items in the room, used knowledge from their schema of standard office items.

  1. The Effects of leading questions on Eyewitness Testimony

    * 20 Desks * 1 Stopwatch * Television * VCR or DVD * Questionnaire Forms (devised by researcher) See Appendices iii & iv * Tape or DVD of sitcom Procedure By volunteering for the experiment participants gave their consent to participation in this study.

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

    A key reason for memory distortion is that witnesses pick up information from other sources, a combination of memory from different experiences. Much research shows that memory more closely resembles a synthesis of experiences. Bartlett (1932) carried out research on reconstructive memory.

  1. Outline and evaluate the research into eyewitness testimony.

    The findings were that witnessed who had seen the man holding the knife emerge accurately identified him, 44% of the time, whereas the participants who saw the man carrying the bloodstained knife only identified him 33%. This finding has come to be known as 'weapon focus.'

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

    Again this was a controlled study but witnessing a real life crime is likely to be more stressful than an experiment and memory recall and accuracy will most certainly be affected. Another factor that influences eyewitness testimony is the 'Weapons Focus Effect' where the eyewitness is concentrated on the weapon

  1. Testing the Stroop Effect on Students

    in the same order it would be likely that the scores would get better after each person went. If the scores did this, it would mean that others in the group had learned the names of the colors and it would skew the results.

  2. Outline and evaluate the accuracy of eyewitness testimony

    However, the high level of control in the experiment created an artificial environment, causing the study to lack ecological validity as the task cannot be generalised to all real life incidents as it didn?t represent everyday events; participants were watching a film rather than watching a real life incident, so

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