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Loftus and Palmer Leading Questions.

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Presentation on theme: "Loftus and Palmer Leading Questions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Loftus and Palmer Leading Questions

2 Context Carmichael 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. Reproduction Label list 1 Original Label list 2 Eyeglasses Dumbbells

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? Smashed Collided Bumped Hit Contacted Less Severe to More Severe


7 Procedure- Experiment 2
Sample: 150 students Method: Variously sized groups were shown a short clip of a multiple car accident. IV: Grouped… Control: No critical question Group 1: Smashed Group 2: Hit Measure/ 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 1 Verbs which suggested greater speed and impact produced significantly higher estimates of speed. Verb Speed Smashed 40.8 Collided 39.3 Bumped 38.1 Hit 34.0 Contacted 31.8

9 Findings- Experiment 2 The ‘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 Conclusions The 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 event Subsequent 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 characteristics Randomisation of order of film clips in Exp 1, and position of critical question in Exp 2. Filler questions. Increased validity and reliability. Ecological validity Real 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 motivation greater emotional affects occur 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’. [12] 2011 Describe the findings and conclusions of Loftus & Palmer’s (1974) research ‘Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction: An Example of the Interaction Between Language and Memory’. [12] 2009 Section B Evaluate the methodology of Loftus and Palmer’s (1974) research ‘Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction: An Example of the Interaction Between Language and Memory’. [12] 2010 Evaluate Loftus & Palmer’s (1974) research ‘Reconstruction of automobile destruction: an example of the interaction between language and memory’. [12] 2009

15 Revision Aids Check out this link for quizzes and a summary of Loftus and Palmer’s experiment:

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