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  1. 1. ANXIETY!!
  2. 2. AnxietyThere is evidence to suggest that anxiety can affect the accuracy of eyewitness testimony...On one hand lab studies have shown impaired (weak) recall in people who have witnessed anxiety-inducing situationsOn the other hand research into real-life incidents involving high stress levels show that EWT can be detailed and long-lasting
  3. 3. Deffenbacher 1983Very Good EWTVery Poor Low Anxiety High
  4. 4. Anxiety is sometimes good for EWT. •Too much anxiety means the individual can’t focus on detail•Too little anxiety and the individualisn’t concentrating enough to absorb any detail
  5. 5. Weapons-Focus EffectLoftus 1979 – aimed to investigate the effect of anxiety on the accuracy of EWT.Procedure:In a laboratory experiment, Loftus asked participants to wait outside a room before the study began.In condition 1 participants heard an amicable discussion and a man emerged with greasy hands holding a penIn condition 2 participants heard a heated discussion and a man emerged holding a knife covered in bloodParticipants were then asked to identify the man from 50 photographs
  6. 6. Weapons-Focus EffectResults:Participants who has witnessed the peaceful scene (C1) were more accurate in recognising the man than the participants who had witnessed the more violent scene (C2)Conclusion:The weapon caused anxiety which narrowed the focus of attention – taking attention away from the face of the man (making him harder to identify) Knife = central detail Face = peripheral detail
  7. 7. Weapons-Focus EffectEvaluation:Can you think of any?Laboratory experiment, so.......High control over variablesReplicationHigh demand characteristicsLow ecological validity
  8. 8. Weapons-Focus EffectWeapons-focus effect research has been supported by other research1. Loftus (again!)2. DeffenbacherHowever, there is research to contradict the findings of Loftus1. Christianson & Hubinette
  9. 9. WFE evaluation High control For example, the lighting & noise levels could be controlledThis means that all potential Strength because extraneous it gives the research highvariables could be internal validity controlled
  10. 10. WFE evaluationDeffenbacher et al (1983) Conducted meta-analysis and found that higher levels of anxiety decrease EWT accuracyThis shows that eyewitness Supporting the testimony is findings of Loftusimpaired if the 1979 research into the weapons-person becomes focus effect too anxious
  11. 11. WFE evaluation Christianson Found that of 58 witnesses & Hubinette to bank robberies who had been threatened in some way had more accurate recall than onlookersThis shows that inreal life situations Criticising Loftus’of EWT high levels WFE research as it of anxiety can demonstrates that actually improve anxiety does not the accuracy of always decrease recall accuracy recall