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Loftus And Palmer. Essay

1297 words - 5 pages

Aim:The aim of the experiment was to find out if information supplied after an experiment influences the witness' memory for that event.Method:The method being used for this experiment is a laboratory experiment.Sample:45 students from the University of Washington were asked to do the first experiment whilst 150 students were asked to do the second experiment.Procedure:FIRST EXPERIMENT45 American students which formed the sample for the first experiment were shown slides of a car accident involving a number of cars. After each accident shown they were asked to describe what had happened as if they were eyewitnesses.They were then asked specific questions about the accidents they witnessed. However the critical question that Loftus and Palmer used for their experiment was,'About how fast were the cars going when they ***** each other?'In each of the 5 conditions a different verb was used to fill in the blank. These five conditions were smashed, collided, bumped, hit and contacted.The speed estimates for the different verbs given by the students were then recorded into a table and analyzed.The independent variable was the wording of the question. (E.g. smashed)The dependant variable was the speed reported by the participants. (E.g. 40mph)SECOND EXPERIMENT.150 students which formed the sample for the second experiment were shown a short (one minute) film which contained a 4 second scene of a car accident. The students were then questioned about it.The 150 students were divided into groups of three and asked,'How fast were the cars going when they ***** each other?'In each of the 2 conditions a different verb was used to fill in the blank. These two conditions were smashed and hit. There was a third condition which resulted in not asking the students about the speed of the cars when they hit each other.One week later, the participants were asked to return, without viewing the film again, they answered a series of questions about the accident they had seen the previous week. The critical question was part of a longer series of questions and was placed in a random position on each of the participants' question paper. The critical question in this case was 'Did you see any broken glass?' There was no broken glass in the film.Results:FIRST EXPERIMENTVerb Mean Estimate Of Speed (Mph)Smashed 40.8Collided 39.3Bumped 38.1Hit 34.0Contacted 31.8SECOND EXPERIMENT:Response Smashed Hit ControlYes 16 7 6No 34 43 44Conclusions:The results from the first experiment show that the students that were asked the question, 'About how fast were the cars going when they smashed each other?' gave a higher speed estimate than those asked, 'About how fast were the cars going when they contacted each other?' The speeds estimated increased as the verb used becomes more intense. Overall the results demonstrated that the phrasing of the question brought about a...

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