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An Investigation of False Memories

An examination of the impact of misinformation and Post Event Information on the creation of false memories

William Cockrell

on 5 October 2014

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Transcript of An Investigation of False Memories

Factors that influence the misinformation effect?
What about implanted memories?
The Bunny Effect
An Investigation of False Memories
Do we ever get the wrong person?
The Innocence Project
3 types of misinformation
Leading Questioning
William Thomas Cockrell
By 2003, had exonerated 136 people
Almost half of wrongful convictions due to eyewitness testimony.
Uses DNA testing to prove no relation between accused offender and criminal activity
Should every case on death row receive DNA testing?
False Memory Research
Three stage procedure:
1. Participants watch a simulated scene
2. Delay/Post Event Information (PEI)
3. Assessment of recall for scene
(Lindsay, 1990; Loftus, 1991; Loftus, Miller & Burns, 1978; McCloskey & Zaragoza, 1985; Tversky & Tuchin, 1989).
Misinformation Effect
Introducing new information
Changing existing details
So the car did what?
Different verb usage influences memory recall:
(Loftus & Palmer, 1974)
Nonexistent Details
"Did you see
broken headlight?"
"Did you see
broken headlight"
(Loftus, 1975; Loftus & Zanni, 1975)
Transformed Details
Part 1: Image
Part 2: PEI
Maybe we should rely on more written testimonies?
Participants guess less accurately when given incorrect PEI after viewing the original image
(McCloskey & Zaragoza, 1985)
Time after event
(Loftus et al. 1978)
Even worse outside of the lab?
Length of time to process PEI?
Notification of accuracy with PEI?
To notify before or after PEI?
Eakin et al. (2003) found that warning participants
PEI was not effective whereas telling participants
was the most effective in detecting misinformation.
If the information was highly salient; it did not matter if the participant was warned before or after. They were
more likely
to guess wrong.
Schemas and Scripts
What are you more likely to remember at a bank robbery?
Schema incongruent memory (after a delay, of course)
What are schemas and scripts?
Grab bag of PEI effects
Source Monitoring
More time to process PEI = lower source monitoring errors
(Lindsay, 1990)
One special group......
As confidence and stress increase; accuracy of memory decreases
(Kassin, Tub, Hosch, & Memon, 2002).
Full transcript