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How Eye Witness Testimony affects people's memory :)

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Tiffany Leung

on 30 June 2014

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Transcript of How Eye Witness Testimony affects people's memory :)

Real life situation
Experiment 1
- We found 12 non-psychology students in our class
(Names are kept confidentiality)
- They are divided into 2 conditions (Hit and Smashed)
- A video of car crash was shown to them
- They were then asked to rate the speed of the car on the left
- It was asked by using a critical question
From ways of knowing
and area of knowing
Ways of Knowing
12 Angry men
How Eye Witness Testimony affects
people's Judgement :)

MS3V Jas, Caca, Tiff xd
The Critical Questions
This is the differences between two conditions:

Ques: About How fast was the car from the left going when it __ the other car?

Words we used in the question: HIT / SMASH

Results ( experiment 1)
Speed rated by participants:

-Hit condition:
3 5 5 7 8 8

-Smashed condition:
2 3 3 4 6 7
What is Eye Witness Testimony
Eyewitness testimony is the account a bystander , describing what that person observed that occurred during the specific incident under investigation.
Area of Knowing
How past events affect people's present memory?
How eye witness affects the reliability of the history?
Personal and shared knowledge
Meaning: everyone has different version of a story
The Rashomon Effect

Contradictory interpretations

People with different perspectives and backgrounds will have different explanation of the events
Counter arguement
Real life situation
unreliable narrator
Usually first-person narrator which raises questions about the reliability of the narration (as he/she can tell lies to the audiences)
How it can relate to TOK
Loftus and Palmer (1974):
-It is to investigate how reliable eye witness testimony is
-Participants were shown a video of a car crash, and were asked to rate the speed of the car.
-The questions were critical and leading questions, that might change participants' estimation.
-This study successfully showed how these questions changed how participants perceive the speed of the car and how memory is reconstructed.
WE modified the experiment of
Loftus and Palmer

Experiment 2
- 4 days later (today), we found our participants back :)
- We asked them whether there was any broken glasses in the video they watched that day

- They were not told to remember the details of the video advisedly, so this could test whether their eye witness is accurate or not
Different words-> different messages-> influences your feelings
e.g.: 'happy' and 'excited'
Sense perception
( Hahaha, bet u couldn't think of this, right xd?)
In the experiment, participants told us the rate of the car by their intuitions as there's no specific definition of the range of the speed (1-10)
Same as intuition
no specific measurement to find out the speed
Results ( experiment 2)
Are there any broken glass?
(There were actually no broken glasses)

-Hit condition:
2 YES /5

-Smashed condition:
2 YES /6
Loftus et al. (1987)
-No weapon condition: man coming out from the next room with a pen
-Weapons condition: man coming out with a paper knife covered in blood

Participants were asked to identify the man from 50 photographs, and participants in no weapon condition was more accurate.
-Weapon grabbed attention
-Weapon increased the anxiety level of patients
Eysenck and Keana (2010)
Experiments = Real life situations???????
-Watching video is less stressful than observing in real life
-Only causes minor consequences
-Details mis-recalled are often very peripheral
Ihlebaek et al. 2003
- Live condition verse video condition:
Robbery involving two robbers with two hand guns
- Memories of ParticiPants in video condition were more reliable
- Eysenck and Keane (2010) : the distortions in eye witness memory obtained under labortary condition may underestimate the unreliability of real life eye witness testimony
The sinking of Titanic - Riniolo et al.

Survivors recalled the event accurately

Ways of knowing -emotion
Emotional factors on eye witness testimony that affect peoples judgment
Weapon effect:
- Feeling more nervous and anxiety when seeing a weapon
- Distracts eye witness's attention
- Anxiety level and stress affects reliability
We have to determine the speed of car and use reason to
explain our own assumption

Sense perception
uses our eyes and (maybe) ears to Observe details
We need to recall details from the video to answer relevant questions. Which schema would make memorization easier since we can use information we are
familiar with to help remember.
Experiments: Loftus and palmer, Defenbacher, Eysenck and Keana
Example: Bible
Ourselves as an eye witness
Psychology experimentsss!!!!
Asch (1951)

From a passing thought to a false memory in 2 minutes: Confusing real and illusory events (J.DON READ)
Special thanksss to....
main character: has anteroamnesia
(could only construct memories that last for at most 10 minutes)
Full transcript