Describe and evaluate studies of eyewitness testimony 12

Their aim was to see whether asking leading questions had any effect on recall.

Describe and evaluate studies of eyewitness testimony 12

Deffenbacher reviewed 21 studies and found that the stress-performance relationship followed an inverted-U function proposed by the Yerkes Dodson Curve This means that for tasks of moderate complexity such as EWTperformances increases with stress up to an optimal point where it starts to decline.

Clifford and Scott found that people who saw a film of a violent attack remembered fewer of the 40 items of information about the event than a control group who saw a less stressful version. As witnessing a real crime is probably more stressful than taking part in an experiment, memory accuracy may well be even more affected in real life.

However, a study by Yuille and Cutshall contradicts the importance of stress in influencing eyewitness memory. They showed that witnesses of a real life incident a gun shooting outside a gun shop in Canada had remarkable accurate memories of a stressful event involving weapons.

A thief stole guns and money, but was shot six times and died. The police interviewed witnesses, and thirteen of them were re-interviewed five months later. Recall was found to be accurate, even after a long time, and two misleading questions inserted by the research team had no effect on recall accuracy.

One weakness of this study was that the witnesses who experienced the highest levels of stress where actually closer to the event, and this may have helped with the accuracy of their memory recall.

The Yuille and Cutshall study illustrates two important points: Misleading questions need not have the same effect as has been found in laboratory studies e. Many people believe that memory works something like a videotape.

Storing information is like recording and remembering is like playing back what was recorded. With information being retrieved in much the same form as it was encoded. However, memory does not work in this way. It is a feature of human memory that we do not store information exactly as it is presented to us.

Rather, people extract from information the gist, or underlying meaning.

Describe and evaluate studies of eyewitness testimony 12

In other words, people store information in the way that makes the most sense to them. We make sense of information by trying to fit it into schemas, which are a way of organizing information. Schemas are mental 'units' of knowledge that correspond to frequently encountered people, objects or situations.

They allow us to make sense of what we encounter in order that we can predict what is going to happen and what we should do in any given situation. These schemas may, in part, be determined by social values and therefore prejudice.

This can, therefore, result in unreliable eyewitness testimony. Bartlett tested this theory using a variety of stories to illustrate that memory is an active process and subject to individual interpretation or construction.

Reconstructive Memory

By this, Bartlett meant that we try to fit what we remember with what we really know and understand about the world. As a result, we quite often change our memories so they become more sensible to us. When asked to recount the detail of the story, each person seemed to recall it in their own individual way.

With repeating telling, the passages became shorter, puzzling ideas were rationalized or omitted altogether and details changed to become more familiar or conventional. For this research Bartlett concluded that memory is not exact and is distorted by existing schema, or what we already know about the world.

When asked to recall details of the picture opposite, participants tended to report that it was the black man who was holding the razor.

Clearly this is not correct and shows that memory is an active process and can be changed to 'fit in' with what we expect to happen based on your knowledge and understanding of society e. In a crime where a weapon is involved, it is not unusual for a witness to be able to describe the weapon in much more detail than the person holding it.

In one version the customer was holding a gun, in the other the same customer held a checkbook.

Eyewitness Testimony Essay

Participants who saw the gun version tended to focus on the gun. As a result they were less likely to identify the customer in an identity parade those who had seen the checkbook version However, a study by Yuille and Cutshall contradicts the importance of weapon focus in influencing eyewitness memory.

The psychology of rumor. A Study in Experimental and Social Psychology. Individual and situational factors in eyewitness memory. Journal of Applied Psychology, 63, The influence of arousal on reliability of testimony.

Some facts about weapon focus.Describe and Evaluate Studies of Eyewitness Testimony (12) This Essay Describe and Evaluate Studies of Eyewitness Testimony (12) and other 64,+ term papers, college essay examples and free essays are available now on Autor: review • February 6, • Essay • Words (4 Pages) • Views.

Eyewitness testimony is a legal term. It refers to an account given by people of an event they have witnessed. For example they may be required to give a description at a trial of a robbery or a road accident someone has Saul Mcleod.

 Psychological research shows that eyewitness testimony is not always accurate; therefore it should not be used in the criminal justice system. Discuss. The criminal justice systems in Australia and throughout the world rely on evidence to prosecute persons suspected of a crime.

04 Describe and evaluate two studies of social influence. [12 marks] Marks for this question: AO1 = 6 and AO3 = 6. Level Marks Description 4. 10 – Knowledge of two studies of social influence is accurate and generally well detailed.

Describe and Evaluate Studies of Eyewitness Testimony (12) - Essay

Evaluation is effective. The answer is clear and coherent. Standard interview. Cognitive.

Describe and evaluate studies of eyewitness testimony 12

Describe and Evaluate Studies of Eyewitness Testimony (12) One study of eyewitness testimony (EWT) was by Loftus and Palmer.

Their aim was to see whether asking . Eyewitness testimony can make a deep impression on a jury, which is often exclusively assigned the role of sorting out credibility issues and making judgments about the truth of witness statements.

1 Perjury is a crime, because lying under oath can subvert the integrity of a trial and the legitimacy of the judicial system.

Describe and Evaluate Studies of Eyewitness Testimony (12) - Essay