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Outline and evaluate research (theories and/or studies) into eyewitness testimony

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  • Essay length: 725 words
  • Submitted: 26/01/2005
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AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology

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Outline and evaluate research (theories and/or studies) into eyewitness testimony (18 marks)

Eyewitness testimony investigates the accuracy of memory following a crime or an incident worth interrogating and the types of errors made in such situations. Sometimes eyewitness testimony can be unreliable, which can lead to horrific consequences in a court of law for example, hence many Psychologists have studied and theorized why this happens.

One leading researcher on Eyewitness testimony is Elizabeth Loftus and her colleagues, in 1975, participants were shown an event by film of a car crash, the participants were split into 2 groups and ask questions on what they had just seen, Group 1 were asked questions that were consistent with the incident, while Group 2, were given same question except one, which was misleading (involving a barn). A week later participants were ask another ten questions, and the last question ask did they see a barn (which was not in the incident). Only 2.7 % gave the incorrect answer and in-group 2 17.3% gave the incorrect answer. Loftus concluded that the introduction of the barn in the first misleading question was now recalled as part of the original event. Elizabeth performed a

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