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Testing the Accuracy of an Eye Witness Testimony

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Daisy Sawyer

on 15 January 2015

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Transcript of Testing the Accuracy of an Eye Witness Testimony

The Manhattan Memory Project
The effect of the amount of time before students are asked to recall information about the incident on how much the students in the classroom remember.
Look closely at this image
According to Douglas Starr (2012), "Eyewitness Testimony has been a mainstay of justice since biblical times. "
(p. 38-64).
Monday, January 15, 2015
Vol XCIII, No. 311
-75% of wrongful convictions are based on eyewitness testimonies ("How Reliable is an Eye Witness Testimony?" 2014.)
How Can We Contribute to Our Community through the Accuracy of an Eyewitness
-Our question is relevant and essential because it proved the unreliable accuracy of eyewitness testimonies.
Testing the Accuracy of an Eye Witness Testimony
-In our experiment we created an "incident" meant to draw attention
-We then a different times surveyed the bystanders to discover how much they remembered.
Our Experiment
How Accurate is an Eye Witnesses testimony?

-The Manhattan Experiment was conducted to find the accuracy of a "flash-bulb memory" (Hamzelou, J., 2011)
-A Flash-bulb memory is a memory that may be especially vivid because it is associated with a violent or a-typical event.
-3000 Americans were surveyed to see how much was remembered of the 9/11 attack
(Hamzelou, J., 2011)
-After just one year the accuracy of the participants memories averaged just 50% accurate (Hamzelou, J., 2011)
-By taking this study and information into account, we can analyze and prove the accountability of eye witness’s testimony in our community’s court system
The Outcome of Our Experiment
-Randolph Arledge was wrongly convicted of killing Carolyn Armstrong and sentenced to 99 years in prison(Huffington Post 2013 )
How Much Could You Remember?
-His conviction was due to two faulty eyewitnesses. Which were both disproved with DNA results (Huffington Post 2013 )
-In our experiment we wanted to discern the credibility of the human memory when exposed to an isolated incident and subsequently the credibility of an eyewitness testimony as affected by time.
-In our experiment we wanted to discern the credibility of the human memory when exposed to an isolated incident and subsequently the credibility of an eyewitness testimony as affected by time.
-What do you remember about the picture of the classroom from earlier?
-Could recall specific details about it? Such as what color were the lockers?
-Probably you, like many of the subjects in our experiment cannot
Do you think you could recall specific details on it if asked?
A Faulty Eyewitness Testimony has Repercussions
-Eyewitness testimonies should still be used in court cases when possible. However, they should not be considered as a solid piece of evidence or the main piece of evidence
-Out of the three classrooms surveyed only one person got all the answers right
-On average people answered on 54% of the questions correctly.
-Our incident was Ms.Robinson and Althea acting like Althea was in trouble and Ms.Robinson was attempting to make Althea go the office
(Hamzelou, J., 2011)
-Starr, D. (2012, November). False Eyewitness. Discover, 33(9), 38-64. Retrieved from <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,custuid&custid=s8455861&db=mat&AN=82217878&site=src-live>

-Bohannon, John. "How reliable is eyewitness testimony? Scientists weigh in."SCIENCEINSIDER 3 Oct. 2014: 1. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Web. 12 Jan. 2015. <http://news.sciencemag.org/policy/2014/10/how-reliable-eyewitness-testimony-scientists-weigh>.

-Yuille, John C., and Judith L. Cutshall. "A case study of eyewitness memory of a crime." Journal of Applied Psychology 71.2 (1986): 1. APApsycNET. Web. 12 Jan. 2014. <http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1986-22197-001>.

-Hamzelou, J. (2011). THE MANHATTAN MEMORY PROJECT. New Scientist, 221(2829), 6-7

When asked to remember details of an incident directly after that incident occurred, people will remember significantly more information, about said incident, than those asked anytime later. Due to it being easier to recall specifics when asked closer to the actual time the event occurred. Furthermore, we hypothesize that group A (the group surveyed directly after the event) will have the most accurate answers. Group B will be the second most accurate and Group C the least accurate. Finally, we hypothesize that our data will prove that an eyewitness can be unreliable.
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