Loftus and Palmer Review

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David Holfoth In 1974, Elizabeth F. Loftus and John C. Palmer conducted an experiment called Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction: An Example of the Interaction Between Language and Memory. In Experiment 1 the subjects were texted to see which word that they reacted to better in judging speed, and in Experiment 2, some subjects were asked, “How fast the cars were going when they smashed into each other?” some were asked, “How fast the cars were going when they smashed into each other?” and the rest were not interrogated about the speed of the vehicle. After a week had passed, subjects were asked, “Did you see and broken glass?” and the correlation was made between which verb was used, the speed estimated and the subject knowing if there was any broken glass. (Loftus & Palmer, 1974). In Experiment 1 it was hypothesized that when the subject hears the word “hit” instead of the word “smashed” they will think that the collision was gentler. Loftus and Palmer came to this conclusion based on a previous experiment conducted by Bransford and McCarrell in 1971. The hypothesis in Experiment 2 was that the subjects would think that the glass had been broken if they heard the word smashed, instead of the word hit, or even if they weren’t asked to estimate the speed initially. This was supported by the findings of Bransford and McCarrell in 1971 because once again it was suspected that the subjects would think the collision was more violent if the verb smashed was used. (Loftus & Palmer, 1974). In Experiment 1, subjects were broken down into groups. Seven different films were shown to these groups, each showing a traffic accident. The subjects were each given a questionnaire asking to “give an account of the accident you have just seen” and then they had to answer specific questions, most importantly being the question on speed. Nine subjects were asked, “About how fast were the cars going when they hit each other?” Equal numbers of the remaining subjects

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