Abstract

In a large body of research, Elizabeth Loftus (1975) first illuminated major concerns about the inaccuracy of eyewitness accounts. The primary goal of the present research was to test whether training regarding common eyewitness mistakes and witness suggestibility could improve eyewitness accuracy. The experimental group watched a presentation on research conducted by Elizabeth Loftus (1975) on eyewitness testimony and suggestibility during a Psychology course. Afterwards, an actor interrupted the classroom and had a discussion with the teacher. Students were asked a series of questions about the disruption. Some of the questions were leading and suggested certain things about the disruption that were inaccurate. After the misleading questions were asked, students were instructed to write a brief summary of what they saw. One week later, the students were asked direct questions about the disruption. A control group did not receive the presentation on eyewitness testimony, but witnessed the exact same event as the experimental group and followed the same procedure. The results suggest that participants who were trained were not as influenced as participants in the control group. Additionally, students in the control group reported the actor's behavior as more threatening than did the experimental group. This research not only adds to the existing literature, but has the potential to improve current eyewitness identification procedures in order to strengthen our justice system.

Notes

If this is your Honors thesis, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu

Thesis Completion

2013

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Whitten, Shannon

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Degree Program

Psychology

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

Location

UCF Palm Bay

Format

PDF

Identifier

CFH0004379

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

Included in

Psychology Commons

Share

COinS