Yuille and Cutshall 1986

leonie1997
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Psychology (Cognitive Level Of Analysis) Mind Map on Yuille and Cutshall 1986, created by leonie1997 on 04/25/2014.

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leonie1997
Created by leonie1997 over 5 years ago
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Yuille and Cutshall 1986
1 Aim: To investigate the accuracy in recall of eye witnesses to a real crime, in response to leading questions and over time.
2 Procedure:
2.1 13 of the original 21 eyewitnesses interviewed by police took part in this study.
2.1.1 All aged 15-32. Only 3 were female, 10 were male.
2.2 Researchers interviewed pps 4-5 months after the incident.
2.2.1 Interviews were recorded and transcribed.
2.2.2 Used same interviewing procedure as the police had used - allowing them to give their account first hand and then asking them questions.
2.3 2 leading questions were used in the interview.
2.3.1 Half the group were asked if they saw A broken headlight. And the other half if they saw THE broken headlight. There was no broken headlight.
2.3.2 Half the pps were asked about A yellow panel on the car. And the others about THE yellow panel. The quarter panel was really blue.
2.4 Pps were asked to rate the stress they felt at the time of the incident, using a tailored 7-point scale.
2.4.1 They were also asked in relation, if they had had any emotional problems at the time or since the event, such as sleeplessness.
2.5 A scoring procedure was introduced to turn the qualitative data collected into quantitative data.
2.5.1 The researchers decided to use a system of 'action details' and 'description details' to collate information from the interviews.
2.5.1.1 The description details were split further into 'object descriptions' and 'people descriptions'.
3 Results:
3.1 The researchers found 552 action details, this accounted for 52% of the total details they obtained. 25% of the details were personal details. 23% of details found were object details.
3.2 Misleading questions had very little effect on their recall.
3.2.1 10 of the eye witnesses said there was no broken headlight and no yellow quarter panel at all on the thief's car - which was correct to identify.
4 Conclusions:
4.1 Eye witnesses are actually very reliable. There were several factors which made this true, including:
4.1.1 correctly recalling large numbers of accurate details.
4.1.2 Almost always arguing the leading questions.
4.2 researchers agreed it would be hard to generalize the findings of this study, as the case is unique, and it is difficult to find a similar one naturally occurring again.
4.3 Misleading questions had little effect on the pps, which disagreed with Loftus' theory on misleading questions.
5 Evaluation:
5.1 Strengths:
5.1.1 Field study that looks at a real incident with real eye witnesses. Therefore has strong validity.
5.1.2 Great care was taken when counting the details from the real incident to make sure the witnesses testimonies did not alter that which really happened, and this scoring procedure allowed for reliable findings.
5.1.3 The scoring procedure also produced quantitative data from qualitative data, which requires no subjective interpretation, and is easier to base conclusions upon.
5.2 Weaknesses:
5.2.1 Lacks generalisability as it was a one-off incident and a field study.
5.2.1.1 The researchers themselves have suggested that this may be a case of flashbulb memory.
5.2.2 There were some weak points in the scoring procedure, such as with a question based on age: the theif was actually 35 years old, and when asked to estimate his age, most pps said he looks as though he was in his early 20s
5.2.2.1 This was marked as an inaccurate memory, even though he really did look that age.

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