Event Title

Memory Accuracy and Blame Attribution as a Result of Manipulated Eyewitness Testimonies

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 1:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 2:00 PM

Project Type

Poster

Description

The present study explored the reliability of eyewitness testimony, specifically examining the effects of implied blame and misleading information on a persons memory recall accuracy and blame attribution of a petty crime. Participants first watched a video clip of a crime that occurred in a park. Following the video, they read a written eyewitness testimony about this crime, written from the perspective of one of the actors in the video. There were nine different versions of this eyewitness testimony; each condition had varying levels of misleading post-event information and each condition either implied blame, implied innocence on one of the men from the video, or was neutral. Participants filled out a questionnaire, after reading the eyewitness testimony, which asked about basic details from the video as well as how much they blamed certain actors for the crime. A significant interaction was found between amount of misleading post-event information and memory accuracy; memory was more accurate with less misleading post-event information. These results suggest the malleable and unreliable nature of eyewitness memory.

Faculty Sponsor

Martha Arterberry

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Psychology Dept.

CLAS Field of Study

Social Sciences

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

430

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May 1st, 1:00 PM May 1st, 2:00 PM

Memory Accuracy and Blame Attribution as a Result of Manipulated Eyewitness Testimonies

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

The present study explored the reliability of eyewitness testimony, specifically examining the effects of implied blame and misleading information on a persons memory recall accuracy and blame attribution of a petty crime. Participants first watched a video clip of a crime that occurred in a park. Following the video, they read a written eyewitness testimony about this crime, written from the perspective of one of the actors in the video. There were nine different versions of this eyewitness testimony; each condition had varying levels of misleading post-event information and each condition either implied blame, implied innocence on one of the men from the video, or was neutral. Participants filled out a questionnaire, after reading the eyewitness testimony, which asked about basic details from the video as well as how much they blamed certain actors for the crime. A significant interaction was found between amount of misleading post-event information and memory accuracy; memory was more accurate with less misleading post-event information. These results suggest the malleable and unreliable nature of eyewitness memory.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/82