Flashcards in Eyewitness Testimony Deck (21)
What is an eyewitness?
An eyewitness is someone who gives an account of all recalled information about an event/crime.
Who researched the effect of leading questions on the accuracy of EWT?
Loftus and Palmer (1974) researched the effect of leading questions on the accuracy of Eyewitness testimony.
Briefly outline Loftus and Palmer's study.
- Participants watched a film of two cars colliding.
- Asked the question, "How fast were the cars travelling when they xxxxx into each other?"
- The verb was changed, depending on the condition.
What were the findings from Loftus and Palmer's study?
On average, the speed estimate was 8.7 mph greater for the verb, "smashed" than, "contacted".
What did Loftus and Palmer conclude about the effect of leading questions on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony?
They concluded that, leading questions, because of the way they are phrased, may elicit a particular response.
How does Loftus and Palmer's study support the substitutioan explaination? (i.e leading questions change the eyewitnesses' memory of a crime).
They found that those in the 'smashed' condition were more likely to report seeing broken glass 2 weeks after the crime. Despite there being no broken glass present.
What is a post-event discussion?
A post-event discussion is a discussion that takes place between co witnesses following a crime.
What did Gabbert et al (2003) find about post event discussions?
71% inaccuracy rates when participants took place in post event discussions.
Compared to 0% inaccuracy rates when participants worked alone throughout.
Evaluate Loftus and Palmer's study on misleading information.
- Quantitative data
- Lab experiment
❌ Anastasi and Rhodes argued that EWT studies often use the same, young targets to identify. Meaning there is a lack of representation for older people in terms of EWT accuracy - ethnocentric sample.
❌ Demand characteristics - Pps often want to be as helpful as possible - Zaragosa and McCloskey - 'Please-U' effect - Participants will give the researcher the answer that they think they want - confounding the results.
❌ Artificial Tasks - Low Mundane realism - Lack of exposure to the real effects of a car crash, anxiety may have a positive (Yullie and Cutshall) or negative (Johnson and Scott) effect on the accuracy of EWT.
Johnson and Scott (1976) proposed that anxiety can have a ****** effect on accuacy of EWT.
Negative. Johnson and Scott proposed that anxiety had a negative impact on the accuracy of EWT.
Describe Johnson and Scott's study.
- 2 conditions, a high anxiety and a low anxiety condition.
- High anxiety condition: smashing and shouting then a man walking past with a bloody paper knife.
- Low anxiety condition: smashing and shouting then a man walking past with a greasy pen.
What were Johnson and Scott's findings?
16% lower rates of accurate recall when compared to the low aniety condition.
What did Johnson and Scott conclude?
'Weapon focus effect', attention is drawn to the weapon as a source of anxiety. As a result of the 'fight or flight' response.
Yullie and Cutshall (1986) proposed that anxiety can have a ****** effect on the accuracy of EWT.
Positive. Yullie and Cutshall proposed that anxiety can has a positive effect on the accuracy of EWT.
Describe Yullie and Cutshall's study.
13 eyewitnesses, 5 months after a real shooting in a shop in Canada. Given a 7 point anxiety scale to record how anxious they felt at the time of the shooting.
What did Yullie and Cutshall find?
Yullie and Cutshall found that recall was 11% higher for those who had deemed the experience 'high' in anxiety compared to 'low'.
There were small discrepancies regarding height estimates, weight estimates and clothing.
What did Yullie and Cutshall conclude?
Anxiety draws attention to external cues as part of the 'fight or flight' response to increase survival chances.
What is the Yerkes - Dodson Law?
The Yerkes - Dodson Law describes how performance (accuracy of recall) increases with increased anxiety, to an optimum point, then performance decreases as anxiety increases.
Give an evaluation point regarding the Yerkes - Dodson Law.
- Over - simplified explaination, dosen't take into account the numerous factors that make up arousal i.e emotional, behavioural, cognative.
Give an advantage of Johnson and Scott and Yullie and Cutshall's studies.
- Cause and effect relationships - Weapons/external cues are the focal points.