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PSYC39H3 (204)
Chapter 5

Chapter 5 notes

7 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC39H3
Professor
David Nussbaum

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PSYC39 Chap 5: Eyewitness Testimony
Stages of Memory
1. Perception/Attention Stage
2. Encoding Stage
3. Short-term memory
4. Long-term memory
5. Retrieval Stage
Recognition memory: determining whether a previously seen item or person is the same as what is
currently being viewed
Laboratory stimulation
Laboratory stimulation study is the most common paradigm used to study eyewitness issues
Using a lab stimulation, an unknowing participant views a critical event, and is unaware they will
be tested on questions about the event later on
Independent Variables (there are many )
oEstimator variables: variables that are present at the time of the crime and cannot be
changed (age of witness, lighting, presence of weapon)
oSystem variables: variables that can be manipulated to increase/decrease eyewitness
accuracy (type of procedure used by police to interview witness)
Dependent Variables (only 3)
oRecall of the event/crime
Open-ended recall: witnesses asked to either write or orally state all they
remember about event without officer asking questions (also called free
narrative)
Direct question recall: witnesses are asked a series of specific questions about
the crime or the culprit
oRecall of the culprit
Open-ended recall and direct question recall can occur for culprit info as well
oRecognition of the culprit
Recall can be examined for the following
oAmount of info reported
oType of info reported
oAccuracy of info reported
For recognition of the culprit, the typical recognition task is a lineup
Clothing lineups, in which the witness examines culprits clothing is also used
Recognition response can be examined for:
oAccuracy of decision
oTypes of errors made
Lineup: set of people presented to witness, who in turn must state whether the culprit is present
and if so, which one
Recall memory
Primary goal for an officer interviewing an eyewitness is to extract from the witness a complete
and accurate report of what happened
www.notesolution.com
Interviewing Eyewitnesses
Fisher et al.
oFound that police officers approach limited their ability to collect complete and accurate
info
oPolice often interrupted eyewitnesses when they were providing an open-ended recall
report
oPolice questioned eyewitnesses with very short, specific questions
Short questions may not be relevant
oPolice officers tended to ask questions in a predetermined or random order that was
inconsistent with info that witnesses were providing
oPolice officers tended to ask questions that are leading or suggestive
The Leading Question—The Misinformation Effect
Loftus and Palmer
oHad uni students watch videotape of car accident in which there was a variation in 1
word: hit
oParticipants who were questions with the word smashed/hit were more likely to recall
seeing broken glass than other participants (when there was no broken glass)
oLoftus went on to demonstrate that simply introducing an inaccurate detail to witnesses
could lead them to report that inaccurate detail when questioned later
Misinformation effect: phenomenon where a witness who is presented with inaccurate info after
an event will incorporate that misinformation in a subsequent recall task
oAlso called post-event info effect
Misinformation acceptance hypothesis: incorrect info is provided b/c the witness guesses what
the officer or experimenter wants the response to be
Source misattribution hypothesis: the witness has 2 memories, the original and the
misinformed one, and cannot remember where each memory originated or the source of it
Memory impairment hypothesis: original memory is replaced with the new, incorrect info
Hypnosis
Hypnotically refreshed memory: where a hypnotized person is able to produce a greater
number of details than a person who has not been hypnotized
A variety of factors can influence whether hypnosis can be induced
oThe degree of trust the witness places in hypnotist
oWitness willingness to be hypnotized
oWitness belief in hypnosis
oSeriousness of the context for being hypnotized
2 techniques used in hypnosis
oAge regression
Witness goes back in time and re-experiences the original event
oTelevision technique
Witness imagines that he/she is watching tv screen in which events are displayed
upon
The difficulty in using hypnosis is not being able to differentiate between accurate and inaccurate
details
Cognitive Interview
www.notesolution.com

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Description
PSYC39 Chap 5: Eyewitness Testimony Stages of Memory 1. PerceptionAttention Stage 2. Encoding Stage 3. Short-term memory 4. Long-term memory 5. Retrieval Stage Recognition memory: determining whether a previously seen item or person is the same as what is currently being viewed Laboratory stimulation Laboratory stimulation study is the most common paradigm used to study eyewitness issues Using a lab stimulation, an unknowing participant views a critical event, and is unaware they will be tested on questions about the event later on Independent Variables (there are many ) o Estimator variables: variables that are present at the time of the crime and cannot be changed (age of witness, lighting, presence of weapon) o System variables: variables that can be manipulated to increasedecrease eyewitness accuracy (type of procedure used by police to interview witness) Dependent Variables (only 3) o Recall of the eventcrime Open-ended recall: witnesses asked to either write or orally state all they remember about event without officer asking questions (also called free narrative) Direct question recall: witnesses are asked a series of specific questions about the crime or the culprit o Recall of the culprit Open-ended recall and direct question recall can occur for culprit info as well o Recognition of the culprit Recall can be examined for the following o Amount of info reported o Type of info reported o Accuracy of info reported For recognition of the culprit, the typical recognition task is a lineup Clothing lineups, in which the witness examines culprits clothing is also used Recognition response can be examined for: o Accuracy of decision o Types of errors made Lineup: set of people presented to witness, who in turn must state whether the culprit is present and if so, which one Recall memory Primary goal for an officer interviewing an eyewitness is to extract from the witness a complete and accurate report of what happened www.notesolution.com
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