Anonymous asked in Social SciencePsychology · 1 decade ago

Suggestion for my Introduction on my experiment which was conducted on Eyewitness testimony.?

This is my very first Experiment write-up

It needs it to be longer. Is there any beneficial things that I maybe missing?

Anything that I should reword?

In a world where crime is so rampant eyewitness testimony is beneficial to put criminals in jail, but since memory is reconstructive, eyewitness testimony is may not always be reliable even if the witness is certain. Memory’s reconstructive nature helps the mind work efficiently so that only the essentials are needed even though this is helpful this makes the brain susceptible to suggestions, because of this everyday a person maybe wrongfully convicted to a maximum of life in prison that is why an experiment on eyewitness account is continuously put into question by lawyers and judges.

This experiment was performed to see what effects memory’s reconstructive nature has on recall and eyewitness testimony accuracy. An earlier experiment conducted by Elizabeth Loftus and Guido Zanni in 1975 explained that eyewitnesses are more likely to see something that was not there if specific wording is used. Also a study conducted by Robert Bothwell, Kenneth Deffenbacher, and John Brigham in 1987 explained that because eyewitness memory is reconstructive, eyewitness testimony is not always reliable even when the witness is absolutely positive, and a study conducted by Gary Wells and Amy Bradfield in 1998 explains that suggestibility is the main factor in wrongful conviction.

In this Eyewitness testimony we used a short video to base our questions off of. Some of these questions were honest, and some were misleading to see how easily memory could be manipulated into believing in something thatWAS not there, and also to test recall. The results showed that some participants had very good recall, and these same participants were not manipulated while the other participants were easily misled. There was some variation though. The aim of this experiment was to test how accurate eyewitness testimonies may be, and how easily memory can be manipulated.


Thank you very much Cavassi.

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    It is possible to extend this I am sure. I had a book by Loftus and it cited many more research articles written on this subject, but I don't know where the book is. Have you tried looking up false memories in Psychological Abstracts in the school library?

    Also, when you cite an article in a research article you cite it by writing, for example "Bothwell, Deffenbacher, and Brigham (1987) found that eyewitness testimony was not reliable because memory is reconstructive. [by the way, how did they show memory was reconstructive - more to write about there]. Wells and Bradfield (1998) found that suggestibility was a major factor in wrongful convictions. [how did they show that? More to write there also.]"

    Has anyone done research on what you propose? How does your research differe from theirs? How did people study it?

    By the way, I think it is a great topic.

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