Loftus (1974)• Presented Pp’s with a fictitious case and asked them to judge the guilt of a man accused of robbing a grocers and killing the owner and his 5-yr. old granddaughter.• On the evidence presented, 9/50 said the man was guilty
What if there was an eye-witness?• Other Pp’s were presented with the same case but were told that one of the shop assistants had testified as an eye-witness who was sure that the accused was the man who had committed the crimes.• On this evidence, 36/50 judged the accused to be guilty
How reliable is the EWT?• A third group of Pp’s were presented with the original evidence and the assistant’s EWT. However, they were also told that the defence lawyer had discredited the assistant. He is short- sighted and had not been wearing his glasses when the crime occurred so couldn’t possibly have seen the accused’s face.
How many students in the third group do you think judged the accused to be guilty? Explain your answer and say what this tells us about the importance of EWT.
The Results?• In fact, 34/50 thought he was guilty!• So, a mistaken witness who couldn’t possibly have seen the crime does seem to be better than no witness.
Loftus & the role of misleading information Elizabeth Loftus (1975) suggested: Eyewitnesses are Memory is unreliable because the reconstructive memory of an event can be affected by the type of questioning used Post-event effectNew information suggested afteran event can be encoded into the Leading questions original memory, resulting in the memory becoming inaccurate
Misleading Information Loftus & Palmer AIM: to investigate the effects of leading questions on the accuracy of (1975) an eye-witnesses immediate recallPROCEDURE: Which verb doLaboratory Experiment you think elicited the45 students / 5 groups (her own students) highestStudents shown 7 films of different traffic accidents estimated speed?P’s were given a questionnaire after eachQuestionnaire’s included one critical question –“How fast were the cars going when they hit each other? Why?One group (control group) were given ‘hit’ the other 4 were givendifferent verbs: Smashed, Collided, Bumped or Contacted
Misleading Information FINDINGS: VERB SPEED (mph) Smashed 40.8 Collided 39.3 Bumped 38.1 Hit 34.0 Contacted 31.8CONCLUSION:The form of questioning can have a significant effect on a witnessesanswer.Leading questions provide post event information which can bestored and affect the original memory forever, reducing theaccuracy of EWT
Misleading Information – A02Think research Who were the methods! participants? Where wasthe research What’s done? What’s wrong with good about this? What’s not this? so good about this?
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