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

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Introduction

´╗┐Outline and evaluate research into the effects of misleading information on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. A study done by Loftus and Palmer into the accuracy of eyewitness testimony aimed to investigate the distortion of the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. In their study they showed 45 students were shown a series of videos before answering a series of questions. There was a critical question which was ?about how fast were the cars going when they hit each other?? One group of participants were given this question, while the other five groups were given the words, smashed, collided, bumped or contacted in place of the verb ?hit." ...read more.

Middle

This suggests that leading questions can have an effect on the accuracy of eyewitness? ability to recall. Loftus carried out an another experiment in which she showed her participants a film of events leading up to a car accident. One of the groups were asked consistent questions consistent to the film while the other group was asked the same question except for one concerning a barn. When the participants were asked to recall the film 17% of the misled group reported seeing a barn while only 3% of the other group claimed to have seen a barn. ...read more.

Conclusion

Foster et al. found that if the participants thought that they were watching a real robbery and that their response would influence the trail, their identification of the robber was more accurate. Furthermore, contradictory evidence from Yuille and Cutshall weakens the credibility of the study. They interviewed 13 people involved in armed robbery in Canada. They were interviewed 4 months after the incident, which included two misleading question. Despite this, the witnessed provided accurate recall that matched the detailed report. This suggests that post-event information may not affect memory in real life EWT. ...read more.

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