Evaluation of Research Into Eyewitness Testimony Essay

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Evaluation of Research Into Eyewitness Testimony

Eyewitness testimony investigates the accuracy of memory following a crime or an incident worth interrogating and the types of errors made in such situations. Sometimes eyewitness testimony can be unreliable, which can lead to horrific consequences in a court of law for example, hence many Psychologists have studied and theorized why this happens.

One leading researcher on Eyewitness testimony is Elizabeth Loftus and her colleagues, in 1975, participants were shown an event by film of a car crash, the participants were split into 2 groups and ask questions on what they had just seen, Group 1 were asked questions that were consistent with the
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One point which lowers the credibility of Loftus's studies is that they were are artificially created, none of them were real, also the importance of the events would have not been the same, as the participants knew that they were not effecting someone life (by sending them to jail etc). The participants were not actually there, they don't get to feel the emotion or the atmosphere were can effect recall. However the study is supported by another Loftus and Loftus (1980) found that recall was no more accurate when the participants were offered money, however some people are more or less motivated by money.

Loftus also theorized that with the introduction of the misleading information the original information is deleted and replaced by the new false memory. However this has been questioned by other studies such as Berkian and Bowers (1983), performed a very similar experiment except that when it came the reconstructive phase asked the questions in chronological order, (where Loftus was completely random), they found that the mislead group recall almost the same correct amount of info as the control group. This showed that the original memory had not actually been lost. But unfortunately no other studies have been successful in achieving the same result,
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