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THE IMPACT OF TRAINING ON EYEWITNESS MEMORY

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Date Issued:
2013
Abstract/Description:
In a large body of research, Elizabeth Loftus (1975) first illuminated major concerns about the inaccuracy of eyewitness accounts. The primary goal of the present research was to test whether training regarding common eyewitness mistakes and witness suggestibility could improve eyewitness accuracy. The experimental group watched a presentation on research conducted by Elizabeth Loftus (1975) on eyewitness testimony and suggestibility during a Psychology course. Afterwards, an actor interrupted the classroom and had a discussion with the teacher. Students were asked a series of questions about the disruption. Some of the questions were leading and suggested certain things about the disruption that were inaccurate. After the misleading questions were asked, students were instructed to write a brief summary of what they saw. One week later, the students were asked direct questions about the disruption. A control group did not receive the presentation on eyewitness testimony, but witnessed the exact same event as the experimental group and followed the same procedure. The results suggest that participants who were trained were not as influenced as participants in the control group. Additionally, students in the control group reported the actor's behavior as more threatening than did the experimental group. This research not only adds to the existing literature, but has the potential to improve current eyewitness identification procedures in order to strengthen our justice system.
Title: THE IMPACT OF TRAINING ON EYEWITNESS MEMORY.
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Name(s): Nelson, Breanna, Author
Whitten, Shannon, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: In a large body of research, Elizabeth Loftus (1975) first illuminated major concerns about the inaccuracy of eyewitness accounts. The primary goal of the present research was to test whether training regarding common eyewitness mistakes and witness suggestibility could improve eyewitness accuracy. The experimental group watched a presentation on research conducted by Elizabeth Loftus (1975) on eyewitness testimony and suggestibility during a Psychology course. Afterwards, an actor interrupted the classroom and had a discussion with the teacher. Students were asked a series of questions about the disruption. Some of the questions were leading and suggested certain things about the disruption that were inaccurate. After the misleading questions were asked, students were instructed to write a brief summary of what they saw. One week later, the students were asked direct questions about the disruption. A control group did not receive the presentation on eyewitness testimony, but witnessed the exact same event as the experimental group and followed the same procedure. The results suggest that participants who were trained were not as influenced as participants in the control group. Additionally, students in the control group reported the actor's behavior as more threatening than did the experimental group. This research not only adds to the existing literature, but has the potential to improve current eyewitness identification procedures in order to strengthen our justice system.
Identifier: CFH0004379 (IID), ucf:45023 (fedora)
Note(s): 2013-05-01
B.S.
Sciences, Dept. of Psychology
Bachelors
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Eyewitness Memory
Eyewitness Testimony
Misinformation Effect
Reconstructive Memory
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFH0004379
Restrictions on Access: campus 2014-04-01
Host Institution: UCF

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