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Thanks for the Memories!

A prezi focusing Elizabeth Loftus' theories and experiments on our memories and how they are affected.
by

Emily Robinson

on 22 November 2013

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Transcript of Thanks for the Memories!

Thanks for the Memories!
Elizabeth Loftus
Prior Research
Experiment #1 The Stop Sign
150 participants watched a 1 minute film with a 5-car chain reaction crash that occurred when a driver ran through a stop sign into traffic.
Experiment #2 Delayed Memory
40 participants saw a 3-minute segment from the film
Diary of a Student Revolution
and it showed a class being disrupted by 8 anti-war demonstrators.
Studies Results
Loftus argued that an accurate theory of memory must include a process of reconstruction when new information is integrated into the original memory of an event.
The End!
Emily Robinson
Experiment #3 The Barn
150 university students watched a short video of an accident involving a white sports car.
Experiment #4 New Creations
150 participants watched a 3-minute film shot from the inside of a car that ends with the car colliding with a baby carriage pushed by a man.
Hypothesis
Loftus hypothesized that if eyewitnesses are asked questions that contain a false presupposition about the witnessed event, new
false
information may be incorporated into the witness's memory of the event and appear subsequently in new testimony by the witness
75 participants received the first question:
How fast was Car A going when it ran the stop sign?
75 participants received the first question:
How fast was Car A going when it turned right?
The last question for both was:
Did you see a stop sign for Car A
?
40 out of the 75 (53%) said they saw a stop sign for Car A
26 out of 75 (35%) said they saw a stop sign for Car A
20 participants were asked: Was the leader of the
four
demonstrators who entered the classroom a male?
20 participants were asked: Was the leader of the
twelve
demonstrators who entered the classroom a male?
1 week later a new set of questions came with the one for the study asking: How many demonstrators did you see entering the classroom?
They reported seeing an average of 8.85
They reported seeing an average of 6.40
75 participants were asked: How fast was the white sports car going
when it passed the barn
while traveling along the country road?
75 participants were asked: How fast was the white sports car going while traveling along the country road?
1 week later they were asked the studies question: Did you see a barn?
13 out of the 75 (17.3%) answered "yes" to the test question.
2 out of the 75 (2.7%) answered "yes" to the test question.
Group D "Direct Question"
They were asked 40 filler questions and 5 key questions directly asking about non-existent objects. ex:
Did you see a barn?
Group F "False-Presupposition Group"
They received the same 40 filler questions and 5 key questions that contained presuppositions about the same non-existent objects. ex: Did you see
a station wagon
parked in front of the barn?
Group C "Control Group"
They only received the 40 filler questions
1 week later they were all asked 20 questions, but 5 were the exact same key questions the direct question group was asked the first time.
8.4% of Group C answered "Yes"
15.6% of Group D answered "Yes"
29.2% of Group F answered "Yes"
Effects on Psychology
In studying human memories, Loftus wanted to show that our brains have the ability to create memories of events that never even happened.
During a criminal case, Loftus pointed out that this is very critical.
She noted that a witness is often questioned multiple times and that during these various question-and-answer session, it is not unlikely that false presuppositions will be made, possibly unintentionally, in numerous ways.
While the people of the court are making the assumption that the witness is re-creating what was actually seen, Loftus contends that what is being remembered by the witness is a "regenerated image based on the altered memorial representation"
She points out that traumatic memories are the ones we remember
best.
Born in Los Angeles on October 16, 1944, to Sidney and Rebecca Fishman.
She discovered psychology at UCLA where she received both her BA in 1966 in math and psychology.
University of Washington in Seattle
New School in New York City
For graduate school, she applied to Stanford and went on to receive her M.A. in 1967 and her Ph.D in 1970.
She is considered by most to be the leading researcher in the areas of memory reconstruction and eyewitness inaccuracy.
She has been one of the most sought-after expert witnesses to demonstrate to juries the care they must use when evaluating the testimony of eyewitnesses.
Allport & Postman study of 1947.
The Yerkes-Dodson Curve shows the role that stress plays at the time a witness experiences a complex event.
Bartlett's study on War of Ghosts:
Investigate the way that memory stores meaningful information
Subjects read the War of the Ghosts and were asked to recall the story repeatedly at different time intervals: minutes, days, months and years.
Findings: The recalled story became shorter, more coherent, conventional, and cliched.
Conclusion: Memory is reconstructive, and people try to make memories fit in with whatever personal schema they have.
Kebbell and Giles Experiment:
Examined how lawyers complicated questions negatively affect eyewitness accuracy and confidence.
Fancy lawyer wording equaled a harder time and less accurate answers then those asked in simple language.
When asked to recall details of the picture, participants tended to report that it was the black man who was holding the razor.
This shows that memory is an active process and can be changed to 'fit in' with what we expect to happen based on your knowledge and understanding of society.
New information can cause your representation of the original memory to be altered or
reconstructed
and that if you are later asked about it, it is not the actual event, but your reconstruction of it.
Her overall findings have held up through the years and have been continued by other researches in the field and that now the power and reliability of eyewitnesses in judicial proceedings can now be justifiably questioned.
Full transcript