Compare and contrast two studies into eye witness testimony

Topics: Memory, Experiment, Question Pages: 3 (1089 words) Published: October 10, 2013
Loftus and Palmer (1974) attempt to demonstrate in their study that memory is not a factual recording of an event and that memories can became distorted by other information which occurs after the event. The aim of their study was to investigate how information supplied after an event influences a witness’s memory for that event. The procedure consists of two laboratory experiments. They are both examples of an independent measures design. The independent variable in both of the experiments is the verb which is used, the dependent variable in the first experiment is the participants speed estimate and in the second experiment is whether the participant believed they saw the glass. In the first experiment there were 45 participants, they were students from the University of Washington and it was an opportunistic sample. They were each shown seven film-clips of traffic accidents, they were short extracts from safety films made for driver education, and they ranged from 5 to 30 seconds long. After watching the clips the participants 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 five conditions in the experiment (each with nine participants) and the independent variable was manipulated by means of the wording of the questions. The basic question was therefore ‘About how fast were the cars going when they **** each other?’ In each condition a different verb was used to fill in the blank, they were: smashed, collided, bumped, hit and contacted. The results of the first experiment showed that ‘smashed’ elicited the higher speed estimate with 40.8 mph and ‘contacted’ obtained the lowest speed estimate with 31.8 mph. The second experiment was to provide additional insights into the origin of the different speed estimates. In particular they wanted to find out if the participant’s memories...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay on Eye Witness Testimony
  • Eye Witness Testimonies in the Legal Courts Essay
  • Eye witness testimony Essay
  • Eye Witness Testimony Is A Legal Essay
  • Eye Witness Testimony Essay
  • witness testimony Essay
  • Should Eye Witness Testimony Be Banned from Court? Essay
  • Outline and Evaluate Factors Influencing Eye Witness Testimony. Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free