The Theory Of Weapon Focus

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Part A The experiment is based off the theory of “Weapon Focus” by Loftus, Loftus, and Messo (1987) and states that the control group (seeing no weapon) would perform better than the experimental group (seeing a weapon) on a quiz that tested the participants on the surroundings of the PowerPoint slides. This is because the weapon is a dangerous and unusual object in a calm and conventional setting so people pay more attention to it. The background study performed by Loftus, Loftus, and Messo was using slides shown for 1.5 seconds each and after 15 minutes, they tested the participants on a 20 multiple-choice miscellaneous questionnaire of which 7 questions pertained to the woman holding the weapon or no weapon. Then, participants were…show more content…
My null hypothesis is that the control group will not perform better than the experimental group and operationalized by using the analytical Mann-Whitney U test. My prediction is that the control group will perform better than the experimental group because they do not see the weapon in the slides. Therefore, they will spend more time looking at the surroundings. The experimental group will be focused more on the weapon because it is out of place with its surroundings. Therefore, they will spend less time looking at the surroundings and more time looking at the weapon. This is supported by Loftus, Loftus, and Messo (1987) in “Weapon Focus” that the experimental group will spend more time looking at the weapon and so their eyewitness testimony is not reliable and they will not be able to remember the surroundings. Section B The independent variable was the woman holding the knife or not holding the knife. The dependent variable was the participants’ ability to recall the surroundings pertaining the woman’s appearance and clothes. This was operationalized by having participants look at PowerPoint slides and then taking a test. The aim was to test weapon focus. The experiment was a clinical single-blind. Participants were asked to sign a consent form (APPENDIX A). Section C Participants were from a high school as a convenient sample. They are juniors and in the
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