Loftus and palmers
Aims and context
Loftus was concerned with how subsequent information could affect an eyewitness testimony (EWT) which is a legal term, referring to the use of eyewitness to give evidence in court. EWT can be influenced by misleading information in terms of both visual imagery and wording of questions. This could lead to faulty or incorrect convictions. If someone is imposed to new info during the interval between witnessing the event and recalling it, this info may have marked effects on what they recall. Original memory can be modified. The innocent project is an organisation which works to clear the names of wrongly convicted people. They claim that eyewitness misidentification is the greatest single cause for wrong convictions in the USA; these convictions were later overturned by DNA evidence. The study of Loftus and Palmers took place in 1974, this was before DNA evidence was available therefor the courts relied highly upon EWT for evidence. Loftus and Palmers main reason for inaccuracies in EWT was because of the role of leading questions. A leading question is a question that either by its form or content suggests to the witness what answer is desired or leads them to a desired answer. These leading questions may be used by police when interviewing witness after an event. Info received after an event can have a retroactive interfering effect on our recollection which is when incoming info gets integrated and confused with our existing knowledge. Previous research such as Carmichael’s showed how verbal labels given at the time of encoding could alter subsequent memory. The research demonstrated the identical figures presented with different words would be reproduced differently by participants. Such evidence suggests that the mind doesn’t work as a camera and doesn’t reproduce memory accurately. Our memory can be reconstructed by different elements such as pictures and words. Marshall did a study where air force personnel were...
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