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.
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Whitten, Shannon N.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
UCF Palm Bay
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Nelson, Breanna, "The impact of training on eyewitness memory" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1443.