Essay about Eye-Witness Testimony

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Eye-Witness Testimony

Until now we have focused upon theoretical psychology that employ methods that are removed from real life. Neisser was one psychologist who criticized his fellow psychologists for concentrating too much on theoretical concepts and ignoring the practical issues involved about memory. It is memory from real life experiences that psychologists must concentrate on and one aspect of this is known as the eyewitness testimony.

Reliability of Eyewitness Testimony -----------------------------------

It is without doubt that eyewitnesses to a crime are one of the most important people to the police when trying to get a conviction but we must remember that sometimes
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like we take photographs. He believed that instead of taking exact replicas of the initial stimulus, we weave it with existing knowledge and experience to form a reconstructed memory. This is known as effort after meaning.

Bartlett carried out a number if experiments to investigate how people recall things. In one of his best-known study's he read English participants a folk tale derived from Red Indian culture called "The war of the ghosts." This was an unusual story for people from a western culture to understand because it contained unfamiliar supernatural concepts. After an interval, the participants were asked to recall as much about the story as possible. Bartlett found that their accounts were distorted in several ways with were consistent with a western-world view. Specifically he found the following differences:

* Rationalizations - People added information or justification for actions that were not in the original.

* Omissions - Information was left out particularly that of which was most difficult for westerners to understand.

* Changes of Order - Events were reordered in order for the tale to make more sense.

* Alterations in Importance - Certain parts were given more prominence than in the original story.

* Distortion of Emotion - People incorporated their own feelings and attitudes towards the story.

So, according to
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