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Lecture 15

PSY 344 Lecture 15: Estimator Variables and System Variables.

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PSY - Psychology
PSY 344

Psych 344 4/21/17 Psych and the Law Estimator Variables and System Variables. A. Estimator Variables - Characteristics of the perpetrator - Distinctiveness- tattoos, scars, moles etc. - Man who robbed bank put tinfoil on their teeth to disguise. Later that was the only thing the teller could remember about them - Disguises-cover hair/ hairline= most common. Somehow covering hair changes our perception of other facial characteristics. - No hat= eyewitness recognizes with 45% accuracy rate. Hat= only 27% correct identification rate. - Defendant and eyewitness race—both important. When defendant and eye-witness same race- recognizes easier - Cross race effect-when eyewitness and defendant different race- accuracy goes down. When different = 1.5x more likely to make incorrect identification . - Small decline if you grow up in a different culture/ greatly exposed to . - Totally different when trying to recognize voice. Different process. B. System variables- factors that influence eyewitness memory that happen after the crime. (how tested/questioned.) Related to factors that the legal system can control - Retention interval-how long after the crime has occurred is the eye witness asked to identify the defendant? - The sooner asked, the better/ more accurate. - Studies suggest that our memories begin to decay immediately. Within 24 hours we forget about half. - After certain amount of time, remembering seems to go through a peak. Ex: two months later. This is inaccurate. This is false information/ memory. Fills in gaps of information—misinformation effect. Ex: police unwittingly give information to the defendant and they then “remember” that info later. - Questioning/ interviewing of EW—way of police going about questioning, wording, framing etc. - Wording of questions...Loftus and Palmer (1974)—Palmer changed verbs in study. “Crashed” “Bumped” or “Smashed” Participants estimated higher speeds for “crashed” than “bumped” also misremembered glass in “crashed” rather than “bumped.” - Leading questions- adding info may have otherwise not hat ex: “was the hat red?” - Word choice- ex: Preowned car rather than used—preowned makes it sound better. = Word choice influential - Mugshots- used to help witnesses remember who saw. Witnesses flip through books of hundreds and hundreds of defendants and try to ID them. - Unconscious transfer- mugshots. Someone’s face may start to look familiar. Can misremember where see face. Ex: Did I see it in the book o
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