Chapter 5 Detailed Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
David Nussbaum

Chapter 5 Eyewitness Deception Both the police and the courts rely on eyewitness evidence. Eyewitness testimony is one of the most compelling types of evidence presented in criminal trials. A large part of eyewitness testimony rests on memory. There are many stages to memory. 1. Perceptionattention stage when you perceive 2. Encoding stage - when you perceive and pay attention to details in your environment 3. Short-term memory has limited capacity and can take in whats been encoded 4. Long-term memory information in this memory can be accessed and retrieved as needed 5. Retrieval stage remembering the information in the memory Memory is not like a video recording in which an identical representation of the event is stored and then can be played on request. Our memory can change each time we retrieve the event; some parts of the event may be embellished or guessed at because we cannot remember all the details. Eyewitness memory can be broadly divided into either recall or recognition memory. a. Recall memory refers to reporting details of a previously witnessed even or person b. Recognition memory refers to determining whether a previously seen item or person is the same as what is currently being viewed Studying eyewitness is usually done through laboratory simulation. To study memory using laboratory simulation, unknowing participant views a critical event, such as crime, either through a slide sequence, video recording, or live. Then the participant is asked to describe targetculprit involved and etc. Independent variables: can be either Estimator or system variables. Estimator variables are variables present at the time of the crime and that cannot be changed (presence of weapon, lighting, etc) System variables are variables or factors that can be manipulated to increase (or decrease) eyewitness accuracy, such as the type or procedure used, etc. This system variable is under the control of justice system.
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