• 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. Marked by a teacher

    Measurements of Accuracy of Eyewitness Testimonies

    4 star(s)

    In order to obtain a sample group of similar individuals, subjects would have to be chosen, and this would cause a whole array of experimental problems, for example experimenter bias. Limitations with the study included the sample range being too small.

  2. A Study to Investigate Whether Leading Questions have an Effect on Memory

    experiment, however the main issue that should be controlled is informed consent. It is very important to have consent from participants as they must feel that they will not be harmed or embarrassed and that they have the right to withdraw at any point.

  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

    There is no guarantee of accuracy in their statement, but witnesses are still used as one of the most reliable sources of information in court cases. Schemas are not the only influence over a person's memory when trying to recall an event; they may become entwined with false or misleading information presented by others.

  1. The Effects of leading questions on Eyewitness Testimony

    as it has been found that memories can be adapted, readjusted and in some instances even changed. As this is so, all types of memory must be questioned including eyewitness testimony. For many years its validity has been questioned, this is due to the fact that heavily relied upon in the Criminal Justice System.

  2. Memory's Impact

    of only sixth form students who were asked to participate in the experiment. This causes a biased sample and does not consider the whole population. The modification to this could be to have a different sampling technique such as random sampling; this would allow every member to have an equal chance of being selected.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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