Loftus & Palmer, 1974 (Cars) Flashcards Preview

Psychology > Loftus & Palmer, 1974 (Cars) > Flashcards

Flashcards in Loftus & Palmer, 1974 (Cars) Deck (25):

What are the three processes of memory?

-encoding: taking in information and putting it in your memory system.
-storage: where you retain the information.
-retrieval: matching the stored info with the environment. Recalling is when you bring back info into your conscious awareness.


What are leading questions?

A question that either in its content or the way it's phrased, suggesting to the witness what the desired answer is or leads them to the desired answer.


What is the aim of the study?

To investigate if leading questions can distort memory in a lab experiment.


What is the method of the study?

A lab experiment with independent measures (2 groups in different conditions).


Describe the sample in the first experiment.

-45 participants
-Students of University of Washington


Describe the procedure of experiment 1.

-Each shown 7 film-clips of traffic accidents.
-Following each clip, the students were asked to write an account of the accident they had just seen. They were also asked to answer some specific questions but the critical question was to do with the speed of the vehicles involved in the collision.
-There were 5 conditions in the experiment (each with 9 Ps) and the independent variable was manipulated by means of the wording of the questions.
-The critical question was, "About how fast were the cars going when they ***** each other?'. In each condition, a different word or phrase was used to fill in the blank.


What were the 5 verbs used in the critical question in experiment 1? (The conditions)



What was the IV in experiment 1?

The verbs used in the critical question. (E.g. Hit, bumped, contacted, smashed, collided)


What was the DV in experiment 1?

Speed estimates given by the participants.


What were the results from experiment 1?

The mean speed estimate:-

-Smashed: 40.8 (highest estimate)
-Collided: 39.3
-Bumped: 38.1
-Hit: 34.0
-Contacted: 31.8 (lowest estimate)


What can you conclude from the results of experiment 1?

Leading questions affect people's answers to that question. This could be because:-
-The Ps have different speed estimates because the critical word influenced their response. They assumed that because it said 'smashed' that the car would be going faster. This is called RESPONSE BIAS.
-Their perception of the car crash has been altered. The word 'smashed' had made them think the crash was more serious and so lead them to an actual change in their memory of the event.


Why did they conduct a second experiment? (aim)

To see if leading questions altered the subsequent expectations about the likely consequences.


Describe the participants in experiment 2.

150 different American students.


What was the IV and DV in experiment 2?

-IV: the verb used in critical question.
-DV: if the participants saw broken glass or not.


Describe the procedure of experiment 2, part 1.

-Ps were shown a 1 minute film which contained a 4 second multiple car accident. The Ps were asked a set of questions including the critical questions about speed.
-There were three groups (50 Ps in a group), "smashed", "hit" and a control group (no question about speed).


What were the results from experiment 2, part 1?

-Same result as first experiment.
-Mean for "smashed": 10.46mph
-Mean for "hit": 8mph


Describe part 2, in experiment 2.

One week later the Ps were asked to return to the psych lab. They were asked some further questions including, "Did you see any broken glass?" There was no broken glass in the film but, presumably, those who thought the car was travelling faster might expect that there would be broken glass.


What were the results from experiment 2, part 2?

(Smashed) (Hit ) (Control)
Yes: 16, 7, 6
No: 34, 43, 44


What does experiment 2 show?

The way a question is asked is not due to response bias but because leading questions actually alter the memory a person has of the event.


What was the overall conclusions?

-Leading questions alter memory.

There are two types of info which make up our memory of an event:
-The info we get from perceiving the event instead and...
-Other info we get after the event such as by being asked leading questions.


What are the strengths of the study?

-Lab experiment: lots of control so allowed them to conclude overall that it was the words used in the questions that caused the differences in recall.


What are the weaknesses of the method used?

-Artificial situation: low ecological validity
-Ps knew they were taking part so increased demand characteristics


How representative was the sample?

Students aren't very representative because...
-they're young so have better memories
-they're used to taking in lots of info so are used to being asked questions about it
-they're less experienced drivers so are less confident in ability to estimate speed
-they're more susceptible to demand characteristics


What type of data was collected?

-ONLY QUANTITATIVE: speed estimates and numbers of people saying that they had seen a broken headlight in study 2.


What would you change?

-Sample (only students): use a bigger sample and don't just use students. It'll be more representative so can be generalised to the whole population. It'd take more time effort, time and money.
-Method (lab exp): use a field experiment such as witnessing a real car crash so the it'd be generalised to real life situations. However it's not ethical to hurt people and also hard to control variables.