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Dan Yarmey (94)

CHAPTOR 5.docx

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PSYC 3020
Dan Yarmey

CHAPTOR 5EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY THE ROLE OF MEMORYThe concept of memory can be viewed as a process involving several stages The encoding stage occurs first when you perceive and pay attention to details in your environment The encoded information then passes into your shortterm holding facility known as your shortterm memory Your shortterm memory has a limited capacity Consequently to make room for other new information information in your shortterm memory passes into your longerterm holding facility known as longterm memory Information from long term memory can then be accessed or retrieved as neededNot every piece of information will go through all the memory stages and factors can affect each stageOur memory can change each time we retrieve the event some parts of the events may be embellished or guessed at because we cannot remember all the detailsEyewitness memory retrieval can be broadly partitioned into either recall or recognition memory o Recall memory Reporting details of a previously witnessed event or person o Recognition memory Determining whether a previously seen item or person is the same as what is currently being viewedHOW DO WE STUDY EYEWITNESS ISSUESThe laboratory simulation study is the most common paradigm used to study eyewitness issuesThe Laboratory SimulationMany independent variables can be manipulated or examined however there are only three general dependent variables o Independent VariablesEstimator Variables Variables that are present at the time of the crime and that cannot be changedThese can include the age of the witness the amount of lighting the presence of a weapon and whether the witness was intoxicated The criminal justice system cannot exert control over these variables This their effect on eyewitness accuracy can be estimated only after the crimeSystem variables variables that can be manipulated to increase or decrease eyewitness accuracyBoth estimator and system variables can be manipulated in eyewitness laboratory studies o Dependent VariablesThe three general dependent variables in eyewitness studies areRecall of the crime or the eventcrimeRecall of the culprit andRecognition of the culpritRecall of the crime or the culprit can take two formats With openended recall also known as free narrative witnesses are asked to either write or orally state all they remember about the vent without the officer or experimenter asking questions With this type of recall the witness also may be asked to describe
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