Eyewitness Testimony

Ashleigh Gildroy
Flashcards by Ashleigh Gildroy, updated more than 1 year ago


A2 Psychology (Memory) Flashcards on Eyewitness Testimony, created by Ashleigh Gildroy on 01/30/2017.

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Question Answer
Eyewitness Testimony 48b72b00-1533-4977-a205-08e255985348.jpg (image/jpg) Psychology
Define eyewitness testimony Evidence provided by people who witnessed a particular scenario or crime.
Can you give an example of a leading question? "Did he wear glasses?"
What is wrong with eyewitness accounts? They can often be inaccurate in their recollection of events and the people that were involved 3a4b3bf7-1225-45a4-a854-9aa6c9da6d65.gif (image/gif)
How does eyewitness accounts link to cognitive psychology? Many cognitive psychologists focus on working out what factors affect the accuracy of eyewitness testimony and how accuracy can be improved
Name the psychologists who researched into this topic Loftus and Palmer
What was the aim of Loftus and Palmer's study? To show how eyewitness testimonies can be distorted
How many experiments did they carry out? 2
Explain the method of the first experiement Participants were shown a film of a multiple-car crash. They were then asked a series of questions including "How fast do you think the cars were going when they were hit?" However, in different conditions, the word hit was replaced with "smashed", "Collided", "bumped" or "Contacted". "Smashed" being the most exaggerated and "Contacted" the least
What did Loftus and Palmer find? Participants who were given the word "Smashed" estimated the highest speed. Participants who were given the word "Contacted" estimated the lowest speed
Explain the second experiment made by Loftus and Palmer? They were shown the same videos. Participants were split into three groups. One group was given the verb 'smashed', another 'hit', and the third was a control group that given any indication on the car's speed. A week later, the participants were asked: "did you see any broken glass?"
What did L&P find in their second study? Although there wasn't any broken glass in the film, participants who were told the car "smashed" were more likely to say that they'd seen broken glass.
What could you conclude from L&P's results? Leading questions can affect the accuracy of statements.
Given the knowledge that it is an artificial experiment, how could you critique this? The car crash was not an event which involved the participants thus implying that results may have differed if the individuals were involved in the car crash themselves.
How could you criticise the chosen experimental design in L&P's study? The participants were asked questions about a car crash. Therefore, some may have perceived the study to be of relevance to the video. thus giving answers of what they perceived to be accurate. This means that the results are skewed and are not particularly valid and reliable.
Who else did Loftus conduct a study with in relevance to leading questions? Zanni
Explain the method in L&Z's study? Participants were shown a film of a car crash. They were asked either "Did you see the broken headlight?" or "Did you see a broken headlight?". There was no broken headlight shown in the film.
What did Loftus and Zanni find? 17% of those asked about 'the' broken headlight claimed they saw one, compared to 7% of the other group who claimed they saw 'a' broken headlight.
What type of experiment was L&Z's study? A laboratory experiment
What is good about the type of experiment Loftus and Zanni used? It was easier to control extraneous variables as conditions are tightly controlled.
How is the ecological validity affected in Loftus and Zanni's study? The whole experiment is artificial, therefore it's difficult to determine if results would've been the same in the real life studies. If they video was something of more meaning to participants, results may have differed.
What else can affect the accuracy of recall? Post-event discussion
List the two psychologists who provided evidence on post-event discussion Shaw (et al) Gabbert (et al)
Describe Shaw et al's study? Psychologists paired participants with a confederate (pretending to be another participant). The pairs were shown videos of a staged robbery and were interviewed together afterwards. When the participant answered first , recall was 58%. When the confederate answered first with the right details, recall was 67%. When the confederate provided the wrong details, recall fell to 42%
What dispositional factors can affect recall and focus? Anxiety Age
Who provided evidence to show the effect of age on eyewitness testimony Valentine and Coxon
Explain the method in V&C's study? 3 groups of participants watched a video of a kidnapping. They were then asked a series of leading and non-leading questions about what they had seen.
What were the three groups of participants in Valentines and Coxon's study? Elderly Young Adults Children
Which group(s) gave incorrect answers when they were asked non-leading questions? Children and Eldery
Which group was misled more by leading questions? Children
What could one conclude with these results? That age has a big effect on the accuracy of EWT. Children and the Elderly must be interviewed with caution.
Ecological Validity? The experiment was very artificial. The results may have been different if the video was personal to the participants. However, this may have taken an unethical turn.
What is the relationship between anxiety and EWT accuracy? Small increases in anxiety tend to increase accuracy. However, too much anxiety leads to having a negative affect on accuracy
Who conducted research looking into the effect of anxiety? Loftus
What type of experiment design did Loftus use? Independent group design
Describe Loftus' method Participants heard a discussion in a nearby room. In one condition, a man come out the room with a knife covered in blood. In another, a man come out with a pen and grease on his hands. Participants were asked to identify the man from 50 photographs
What did Loftus find? Those who witnessed the man with the pen were 49% accurate. Whereas those who witnessed the man with a knife were 33% accurate when identifying the man.
Looking at the results, what could you conclude? When anxious, witnesses may focus on more frightening factors like the weapon rather than physical details.
At first glance of the study, what would be the major criticism of Loftus' study? The study was highly unethical. Seeing the man with the gun may have triggered fearful emotions, such as distress and fear.
Was the study affected in terms of ecological validity? The participants were not pre-warned about the activity, so it presumably must have took them by surprise, thus resulting in high ecological validity as they weren't aware of what was going on. However, participants were waiting in a lab for the "real" study to start. Therefore, it seems unlikely that no participants weren't aware of the real study, given that they were in a laboratory environment
Is there any evidence to show that misleading questions and anxiety don't always effect EWT? Ye.s. Yuille and Cutshall showed witnesses a real incident and showed remarkably accurate recall. A thief was shot and killed by police and witnesses were interviewed. Thirteen of them were invited to be reinterviewed five months later. The recall was found to be highly accurate, even after this time period. They even included misleading questions and it had no effect on the answers. Considering there was a high level of ecological validity, it could be argued that if the witness fully experienced the situation, recall would've been more accurate, than just watching clips with no personal effect.
What is the cognitive interview? A research method used to increase the accuracy of witnesses' recall of events.
Who developed the cognitive interview? Geiselman et al
Briefly, explain the process of the cognitive interview 1) The Interviewer aims to make the witness relaxed and calm 2) The witness is asked to mentally recreate the environment and emotions during the situations 3) The witness reports absolutely everything that can be recalled. Even the colour of clothing or the weather. 4) The witness is asked to recall details of the crime in a different order 5) They're then asked to look at the event from different perspectives (From the eyes of other witnesses) 6) The interviewer should always avoid judgment or personal opinion
True or false: Did Geiselman (et al) find no supporting evidence to this? False
Explain Geiselman's (et al) study In a staged situation, a man in a blue rucksack entered a classroom and stole a slide projector. Two days later, participants were questioned about the event. The study used an independent group design - participants were questioned using the cognitive interview in one condition and the other was a standard interview procedure.. Early in the questioning, participants were asked "Was the guy with the green backpack nervous?", later in the interview, participants were asked what colour the man's rucksack was.
What did Geiselman find? Participants in the cognitive interview condition were less likely to recall the rucksack being green.
Would you say the cognitive interview is more effective judging by the results? Yes. The cognitive interview prevented faulty recall.
Ecological Validity? The experiment was done under a natural environment in which people were unaware that they were being experimented on. Thus meaning that the study had high ecological validity as it felt as though there was a real life crime taken place.
Ethics? Participants may have felt distressed as they witnessed a burglary. However, given the length of time the experiment was, participants were deceived.
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