L2 - Eyewitness Memory Flashcards Preview

Intro to Forensic Psychology > L2 - Eyewitness Memory > Flashcards

Flashcards in L2 - Eyewitness Memory Deck (42):

Describe Atkinson and Shiffrin's Multi-store memory model.

- Information from the environment is held in sensory memory, but this process is limited/mediated by attentional systems.
- Environmental information that is attended to will enter short term memory, as can retrieved information from long term memory.
- Information in short term memory can be transferred to long term memory via rehearsal.


How many features of faces are typically remembered?



What are the two types of variables that Wells (1978) created?

- System variables
- Estimator variables


What are system variables?

Variables affecting eyewitness testimony that are under direct control of the criminal justice system. (interview technique, interviewer gender, identification procedure, etc)


What are estimator variables?

Variables affecting eyewitness testimony which are outside the control of the criminal justice system. (e.g. age of witness, characteristics of witness, perpetrator characteristics such as race and gender, eyewitness conditions.)


What is change blindness?

The failure to notice changes that occur when continuously monitoring a visual scene.


What is the weapon focus effect?

The presence of a weapon is detrimental to participants' memory of an event.


What are the two explanations of the weapon focus effect?

- Weapon elicits fear. Individual then sources out location of the weapon/reason for fear response, reducing the time spent looking at the perp's face/identifying features.
- any unexpected object can distract witness. Something as non-threatening as a rubber chicken would reduce memory of a perp just as much according to this theory.


What are some of the main factors influencing the effect of weapon focus, presented by Fawcett et al., (2013)?

- retention interval (amount of time between crime and ID test - less likely to see WFE with longer intervals)
- exposure duration (longer exposure, smaller effect)


What is the Yerkes-Dodson law?

The relationship between arousal and performance such that there is an optimal level of arousal for performance. At both high and low levels of arousal, however, performance is affected detrimentally.


How did Christianson (1992) argue against the Yerkes-Dodson law?

Said that performance is not all about arousal. It is also about emotion. Those experiences which are more emotional will be spoken about and shared more, meaning rehearsal of the memory occurs more.

Also suggested that stress may improve memory for central elements in a scene, but worsen memory for peripheral elements.


How does alcohol intoxication affect the encoding of memories? Who's studied this?

Attention and memory consolidation are negatively affected, leading to fewer details remembered by intoxicated individuals compared to sober individuals. The accuracy of details remembered in police reports is unaffected.
(Flowe et al., 2016; Schrieber Compo et al., 2012)


What did Ebbersen and Rienick (1998) find about retention interval and memory?

The number of correct event facts decayed, but the percentage of recalled incorrect facts remained constant. So, if less was recalled overall, it is the correct facts that are being affected - not the incorrect ones.


What is the misinformation effect?

People tend to distort their memories of an event when exposed to misleading information after the event.


What is the mugshot bias?

Viewing mugshots can detrimentally affect later identifications. Mugs are shown when they have no suspects. Mugs of known offenders are then shown to try and develop leads.


Why does the mugshot bias occur?

Original memory for perp is interfered with due to other images of faces in mind (mugs)


What are the implications of mugshot biases?

Later lineups could involve false positive identification of individuals shown in mugshots.


What is verbal overshadowing effect?

Giving a verbal description of perpetrator to police can interrupt visual representation of culprit and therefore lineup identification accuracy.


How long-lasting is the verbal overshadowing effect?

Not very. It is short lived. Interference decreases over time, meaning original memory trace is better recalled/accessed.


What did Kovera et al., (1997) find about composite drawings?

Likeness of composite drawings produced from participants' memories is poor. (early composites focussed on features, rather than proportions, etc)


What did Wells et al., (2006) find about composite drawings?

Active exposure to composites can negatively affect later identification performance.


State how confidence and accuracy of identification are linked.

Confidence is predictive of accuracy.


What did Wells & Bradfield (1998) find about confidence malleability?

Providing feedback on accuracy of identification can affect confidence. Confidence statement should reflect match between memory and lineup, rather than a product of social factors and inklings of case evidence, etc.


What did Wright and Skakerberg (2007) find about real effects of confidence malleability?

The effect has been demonstrated among actual eyewitnesses


What were features of Geiselman et al's (1985) cognitive interview?

- event-interview similarity
- focussed retrieval
- extensive retrieval
- witness compatible questioning.


What are the stages of Geiselman et al's (1985) cognitive interview?

- Introduction, build rapport.
- Planning phase --> Free recall, uninterrupted. interviewer chooses certain aspects of recall to delve into afterwards.
- Information gathering. Guide witness through information rich representations of the event. e.g. closing eyes - distractions are eliminated.
- Review witnesses recollections to make sure that you have heard what the witness wanted to/was meaning to tell you


What are the comparisons between cognitive interviews and standard police interviews?

25%-45% more information is elicited. BUT increase in error of information.


What is verbal overshadowing?

Providing a verbal description of another person's face can significantly impair ability to recognise that face in a subsequent face identification task.


What is the verbal facilitation effect?

Increased identification performance when multiple perpetrators are verbally described. Helps you separate the different individuals involved.


What did Meissner and Brigham (2008) find about the relationship between descriptive accuracy and ID accuracy?

Visual memory may not be as good as verbal memory/vice versa.

Very small correlation between ID accuracy and description accuracy.

Small correlation between ID accuracy and incorrect details

Effects smaller for event memory studies


What did Yuille and Cutshall (1986) study and what did they find?

Researcher pretended to go and rob a store/café. And got shot.
Witnesses performed much better than lab PPS.
Those closer to the event reported more trauma/stress, but remembered more details.
Memory for details of the event did not decay across the various intervals


Name 3 types of identification procedures

- showup (one person showed to witness)
- simultaneous lineup
- sequential lineup (video of one suspect at a time)


Name 2 modalities of identification procedures

- Live
- Photographic


Name 2 compositions of identification procedures.

- target present vs target absent
- single vs multiple subject


What did Lindsay and Wells (1985) investigate in relation to eyewitness identification decision processes?

Relative vs absolute judgement theory
--> relative decision making leads to more errors.


What is dual process theory in relation to eyewitness identification decision processes?

Gronlund (2005):
- Simultaneous IDs based on familiarity (relatively the most familiar)
- Sequential IDs based on recollection (remembering something specific about a face)


What is the diagnostic feature detection model in relation to eyewitness identification decision processes?

Wixted & Mickes, (2014):

The type of lineup procedure used brings more focus on certain features


What does admonishment refer to?

The warning to witnesses that the perpetrator may not be present in the lineup.


What does APLS stand for?

American Psychology-Law Society


What are APLS recommendations on how to conduct lineup procedures?

- Admonishment (warning to witnesses that perp may not be present)
- Double blind testing (investigator can't give cues/bias PPS choices)
- Assess and record confidence at time of ID (confidence is malleable. Knowing that someone has been arrested may inflate confidence)


What did Clark (2006) find about the consequences of APLS recommendations?

Decrease in innocent subject identifications, but also a decrease in guilty subject identifications.


Are simultaneous or sequential lineups more accurate?

Sequential lineup decreases false identifications because it makes witnesses more cautious to identify a suspect - the lineup will terminate at this point and none of the other suspects will be seen.

Sequential lineup makes it harder to identify features of the face, as comparisons are helpful for feature-recognition.