Eyewitness Research Paper

Words: 2534
Pages: 11

Eyewitness Testimony

Eyewitness testimony is defined as, “an area of research that investigates the accuracy of memory following an accident, crime, or other significant event, and the types of errors that are commonly made in such situations.” Much emphasis is placed on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony as often-inaccurate eyewitness testimony can have serious consequences leading to wrong convictions. Eyewitness testimony is a powerful tool within any field, particularly that of justice, as it is a readily accepted form of evidence that allows for convictions. However, tests conducted by Loftus have shown an enormous swing from a non-guilty verdict, to guilty within the same case, simply through the introduction
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Cohen, 1993 argued against the idea of schemas on the basis that they are too vague a concept, the schema theory was criticized for offering no explanation as to how they are acquired in the first place. Although there are downfalls of the experiments, there are not many, and those I have given are not strong enough to claim that eyewitness testimony is a solid form of evidence to be taken seriously.

Newer studies show that not only can you change details of a memory; you can implant new memories, particularly in childhood. One reoccurring issue for memory distortion research is the question of whether the events being reported after such manipulation might have actually happened. Other “impossible” memories have recently been planted in British students. The false events was “having a nurse remove a skin sample from my little finger” the medical procedure is not carried out in the united kingdom, after guided imagination, participants came to remember the nonexistent procedure. (Extracted from “our changeable memories-Elizabeth Loftus) the use of fake photographs is a powerful technique for implanting memories. Subjects were shown a false photograph of a hot air balloon. They were asked to tell “everything they remember without leaving anything out no matter how trivial it may seem.” 505 recalled the hot air balloon ride that had never occurred. These studies and many more show that people can develop beliefs and memories for