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PSYCH 253 (36)

Module C- Social Psychology in Court.docx

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Steve Spencer

Module C: Social Psychology in Court  A vivid eyewitness account is difficult to erase from juror’s minds  Compared to criminal cases lacking eyewitness testimony, those that have eyewitness testimony are more likely to produce convictions  Jurors are more skeptical of eyewitnesses whose memory for trivial details is poor, however these tend to be the most accurate witnesses  Those who pay attention to detail are less likely to pay attention to the culprit’s face  Eyewitnesses are often more confident than correct, and it’s the confident witness that jurors find most believable  We construct memories, based partly on what we perceived at the time and partly on our expectations, beliefs, and current knowledge  Strong emotions that accompany witnessed crimes and trauma may further corrupt eyewitness memories  Misinformation Effect: witnessing an event, receiving misleading information about it, and then incorporating the “misinformation” into one’s memory of the event  Suggestive questions can distort eyewitness recollections (asking about a red car and then later “remembering” said car)  False memories feel and look like real memories, and can be as persuasive as real memories (especially for children)  Retelling events commits people to their recollections, accurate or not  An accurate retelling helps people later resist misleading suggestions. Oth
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