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Lecture 7

PSYC 2650 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Jury Instructions, Childhood Amnesia, Counterintuitive


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 2650
Professor
Dan Meegan
Lecture
7

Page:
of 2
LECTURE NOTES: MIDTERM #2: 7
EVERYDAY MEMORY
Eyewitness testimony
Jury instructions
Childhood amnesia
Hypnosis
False/recovered memories
Flashbulb memories
EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY
How post-event information – e.g. misleading questions – can influence memory of a witnessed
event
Police interrogation
Task
oShown a series of slides depicting an automobile collision
oAsked one of two questions
How fast were the two cars going when they hit each other?
How fast were the two cars going when they smashed into each other?
The ones who received the biased question said the cars were going
significantly faster than the ones who received the neutral statement
Counterintuitive findings in eyewitness testimonies
oConfidence is not a good predictor of accuracy
oEach testimony contains what was seen and provided post-event information
oA testimony can be affected by wording of questions
REWRITING MEMORY
Task
oEyewitness observes a workman go into an office and steal some money and pick up a
hammer and leave
oLater the witness reads a printed account in which the workman picks up a wrench
oNow the witness remembers a wrench being stolen instead of a hammer
JURY INSTRUCTIONS
Can jurors disregard presented information?
Wrench study
oSubjects were told to disregard the written account – had no effect on memory accuracy
CHILDHOOD AMNESIA
Almost a total lack of memories from the first 5 years of life
Some suggest repression but that isn’t the case
oThis is because adults have accurate memory for past traumatic events
oEveryone has childhood amnesia but not everyone experiences pain
Decay?
oNo because many elders have vivid memories of their teen years
The most compelling reason or solution available would be childhood memories are poorly
organized