Effect Of False Suggestions On Memory In A Traumatic Event

2549 words - 10 pages

1Running head: EFFECT OF FALSE SUGGESTIONS ON MEMORY IN A TRAUMATIC EVENT2EFFECT OF FALSE SUGGESTIONS ON MEMORY IN A TRAUMATIC EVENTEffect of False Suggestions on Memory in a Traumatic EventClinton Dsouza (998609796)University of TorontoLoftus & Palmer (1974) set the ground running with a classical study that looked into the interaction between language and memory in their 'Reconstruction of Automobile Destruction' study. They discovered that a change in a single word, in this case an action verb, elicited different estimates for speed when viewing videos of automobile accidents (Loftus & Palmer, 1974). Zaragoza & Mitchell (1996) used this platform to observe the possibility of creating false memories through repeated exposure to suggestions. In their study, participants claimed that they remembered suggested events in the video as well as believed to have consciously seen it in the video (Zaragoza & Mitchell, 1996). The purpose of this study proposal is to look at the two aforementioned studies in a collaborative manner, in an attempt to see if exposure to false suggestions affects the memory during a traumatic event. This study's aim is to focus on individuals who may have been one of the very few to witness a traumatic event, but due to the multitude of events occurring at once, they are under greater pressure.The building blocks for this proposal stemmed from cases where crimes were committed in public places while distracting the crowd, in order to minimize the number of eyewitnesses for the actual offense. The scope of this proposal is a lot narrow than for usual crimes, however, cases like these often have extremely long investigations, proceedings and duration of decisions which make them more susceptible to errors from wrongful eye witness testimonies. Since this study is an integration of two different studies, the variables under the 2 x 3 factorial design are also a collaboration of the two. The first Factor is the action verb used during questioning i.e. Smashed and Hit. This is the factor that is manipulated (independent variable) across two treatment groups that will have randomly assigned subjects. The second factor to be tested is the answers to the three questions (which will be elaborated on during the methodology). These answers are given in response to the changing questions (dependent variable). A Yes or No answer will be required to be given by participants for each question after viewing a video encompassing the desired events that would be asked upon in the investigation scenario. The key aspect to consider is that even though all the three suggestions for the two different groups are false, will participants succumb to them and claim to have seen it. The important difference here is the inclusion of a traumatic event via a video clip and the creation of a stressful environment for the eyewitness to be in.A traumatic event is an event that involves "actual or threatened death or serious injury or a threat...

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