2 ContextCarmichael et al. (1932)- presenting participants with identical figures but different accompanying words influenced the way they reproduced images.E.g. Participants are given an image and a word from list 1 or 2. They then reproduced it.Memory is reconstructed which can be affected by verbal labels.ReproductionLabel list 1OriginalLabel list 2EyeglassesDumbbells
3 Aim To test 2 effects of leading questions. Whether using different verbs suggesting a more or less serious accident influenced…estimates of speed.Recall of damage caused in the accident.
4 Procedure- Experiment 1 Sample: 45 students.Method: Variously sized groups watched 7 short film clips of accidents.Measure/ DV: Questionnaire which asked them to describe the accident. They were then asked a series of questions including the critical question on speed.Filler questions were used to disguise the aim of the experiment.IV: Verb used
5 Procedure- Experiment 1 cont. About how fast were the cars going when they [insert verb] each other?SmashedCollidedBumpedHitContactedLess Severe toMoreSevere
7 Procedure- Experiment 2 Sample: 150 studentsMethod: Variously sized groups were shown a short clip of a multiple car accident.IV: Grouped…Control: No critical questionGroup 1: SmashedGroup 2: HitMeasure/ DV:Immediately following the film- questionnaire which asked them to describe the accident. Series of questions including the critical question.1 week later- another questionnaire given to all participants including a new critical question.Did you see any broken glass?
8 Findings- Experiment 1Verbs which suggested greater speed and impact produced significantly higher estimates of speed.VerbSpeedSmashed40.8Collided39.3Bumped38.1Hit34.0Contacted31.8
9 Findings- Experiment 2The ‘smashed’ group (10.4 mph) gave on average a higher estimate of speed than the ‘hit’ group (8mph).Participants were more likely to report seeing broken glass in the ‘smashed’ condition.Participants who estimated higher speeds are more likely to have reported seeing broken glass.
10 ConclusionsThe form of a question can systematically effect a witness’s answer.Experiment 1 shows that an individual who is uncertain of the speed can be influenced by response bias. A more dangerous sounding verb would elicit a higher estimate.Experiment 2 shows that the form of a question can alter the witness’s mental representation of an event, causing false recall.Memory of a complex event is an integration of:Perception of the original eventSubsequent additional external information
11 Evaluation- Strengths Lab experiment: highly controlled.Eliminates extraneous variables, e.g. time allowed to encode, and delay prior to recall.Minimised demand characteristicsRandomisation of order of film clips in Exp 1, and position of critical question in Exp 2.Filler questions.Increased validity and reliability.Ecological validityReal clips of car accidents and delay in questioning reflects the experiences of eyewitnesses in court.
12 Evaluation- Weaknesses Lower ecological validity- witnessing a real car crash:increased motivationgreater emotional affectsoccur in context (films were very short)Sample- Unrepresentative.Can we generalise from students to all age groups and demographics?Less experience of driving?
13 Test Yourself… How good an eyewitness are you? Follow the link to find out: r4.asp
14 Past Exam Questions Section A Summarise the aims and context of Loftus and Palmer’s (1974) research ‘Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction: An Example of the Interaction Between Language and Memory’.  2011Describe the findings and conclusions of Loftus & Palmer’s (1974) research ‘Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction: An Example of the Interaction Between Language and Memory’.  2009Section BEvaluate the methodology of Loftus and Palmer’s (1974) research ‘Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction: An Example of the Interaction Between Language and Memory’.  2010Evaluate Loftus & Palmer’s (1974) research ‘Reconstruction of automobile destruction: an example of the interaction between language and memory’.  2009
15 Revision AidsCheck out this link for quizzes and a summary of Loftus and Palmer’s experiment:
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