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Unformatted text preview: Psych- Chapter 5 - witnesses sometimes make mistakes in their reports to police. Therefore, eyewitnesses reports can be misleading - eyewitness testimony may be the least reliable but most persuasive form of evident presented in court - many cases of wrongful convictions based on faulty eyewitness testimony - confirmation bias: a tendency to search for information that confirms one’s preconceptions. When this happens, police often stop investing other leads and seek out further evidence that implicates the hosen subject - points at which a mistaken eyewitness identification can occur: o moment the crime is committed- maybe dark, things happen to fast, etc. However, when person is questioned they are to rely heavily on their memory and impressions, sometimes which are incorrect o during the instigation of the crime - false identification in photo lineup, or physical lineup. Eyewitnesses want to help police and may feel pressure to ID someone - because eyewitnesses are asked to remember experiences that are typically brief, complicated, and often frightening, they are especially prone to making errors - we overestimate height of criminals, duration of brief events, but underestimate the duration of prolonged events. We notice more about actions than about the person doing the actions- change blindness: the phenomenon in which individuals do not notice changes in their environment. Studies of change blindness suggest that our mental representations of visual scenes are sparse or incomplete and that people often fail to notice large changes in their visual worlds- weapon focus effect o not caused so much by emotional arousal but by the fact that the witnesses narrow their attention to the weapon. This limits the amount of attention the can pay to other aspects of the situation, such as psychical features of the perpetrator o likely to occur in situations in which the weapon is surprising and unexpected- presence of a weapon can interfere with the perception of visual information and can affect the processing of auditory information - encoding: refers to the acquisition of information. Many aspects of a stimulus can affect how it is encoded; stimuli that are only briefly seen or heard cannot be encoded fully. The complexity of stimulus affects encoding o stressful situation does not necessarily enhance encoding of events, although mild stress or arousal may heighten alertness and interest in the task at hang. Extreme stress usually causes person to encode information incorrectly - storage : how well do we retain what we encode? o Memory loss is rapid o Activities that eyewitnesses carry out or information they learn after they observe an event ( post event information ) an alter the memory of the event o New activity interferes with memory of the old o Providing an eyewitness with information about what other witnesses have already said influences the first witness’s recollection - Retrieval – the process by which a memory is returned to a...
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- Fall '07
- DUNNING, D
- Psychology, administrator, Eyewitness identification, Justice Department