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Focus eyewitness memory age are children reliable

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Unformatted text preview: gated neighborhoods Eyewitness Memory Weapon Focus – a witness’s attention being focused on the weapon rather than the culprit A witness will remember less about the culprit when a weapon is present Eyewitness Memory Weapon Focus Two explanations ▪ Arousal ▪ Cue- Utilization Hypothesis – as emotional arousal increases attentional capacity decreases Limited empirical support ▪ Unusualness ▪ we pay attention to what is not typical in our environment (i.e., weapon) and fail to encode other pieces of information around us Eyewitness Memory System variables Line- up procedures ▪ Psychological research has changed the way police departments nationwide conduct line- ups Eyewitness Memory Line- up procedures Target- present – perpetrator is in the line- up Target- absent – police suspect is innocent, therefore perpetrator is not in the line- up ▪ Much more dangerous ▪ Police can never really know if they are performing a target- present or target- absent line- up Ronald Cotton is #5 Is this target- present or target- absent? Eyewitness Memory Line- up Procedures Simultaneous Line- up – All suspects are presented at the same time (usual media portrayal) ▪ Results in relative judgments Sequential Line- up – Suspects are presented one at a time, and witness cannot go back to compare photos/ individuals ▪ Results in absolute judgments Target Present Sequential Simultaneous Target Absent Sequential 65% correct rejection Simultaneous 42% correct rejection Eyewitness Memory False identification is not the only form of incorrect eyewitness memory. One can misremember details of an event (e.g., date, time) A source of distorted eyewitness memory is misinformation Suggestibility – The development of biased memory as the result of misinformation Children are particularly sensitive to misinformation! Loftus, Miller & Burns (1978) Conclusions Human memory is fallible and malleable; therefore, it is suggestible! Eyewitness testimony does have a place in the American justice system Many eyewitnesses are accurate! Important to be aware that it is not perfect and should be weighed appropriately by judges and juries...
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