Elizabeth Loftus conducted many studies in relation to eyewitness testimony to find out the validity, reliability or lack of, when considering the evidence brought forward by a person’s memory. This research is considered to be useful to society and the law because it could lead to improvements of the way a suspect are trialled and how evidence its taken. In 1974,Loftus, along with Palmer, conducted a study called “Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction” in order to simulate participants witnessing a car crash and to see the effects of leading questions on them. The term leading questions are referring to questions that influence a person to give a particular answer. They asked participants to watch a series of few video clips of road accidents, involving a number of different cars and were then asked to describe the events that took place, like they would in a real accident and if they were a real witness. Furthermore, the participants spilt up to 5 groups of 9 (relatively small sample) where they were asked a series of specific questions about what took place in the clips, the critical question being:
Condition 1: 'About how fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?'
Condition 2: 'About how fast were the cars going when they collided into each other?'
Condition 3: 'About how fast were the cars going when they bumped into each other?'
Condition 4: 'About how fast were the cars going when they hit each other?
Condition 5: 'About how fast were the cars going when they contacted each other?'
The result showed that the information presented in the question systematically affected the way in which...