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Su Psy2008 W10 Project B Kennedy Diamond

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Statistics
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South University
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Homework
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Introduction
Literature Review
Social scientists have long been interested in the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. Several
studies over the past few decades have demonstrated that eyewitnesses are not always accurate
(e.g., Buckhout, 1974; Bornstein & Zickafoose, 1999). More recently, many individuals have
filed appeals based on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) evidence. Of those acquitted on this basis,
78 percent had originally been convicted based on strong eyewitness testimony (Stambor, 2006).
One reason witnesses may err when recalling information about a criminal is the misinformation
effect, which involves "incorporating 'misinformation' into one's memory of the event after
receiving misleading information about it" (Myers, 2008). Elizabeth Loftus (1978, 1979a, 1979b,
2001) and her associates have repeatedly demonstrated this effect, finding that memory can be
"constructed" based on suggestive questions and information given after the fact. Other factors
that play a role in our ability to recall information are decay and stress. Shapiro & Penrod (1986)
presented evidence that suggests memory may decay over time, while other researchers have
found that as stress increases, the accuracy of recall decreases (Deffenbacher, Bornstein, Penrod,
& McGorty, 2004; Payne, Nadel, Allen, Thomas, & Jacobs, 2002).
Hypotheses
Given what we have learned through the literature review, our hypotheses are:
There will be a relationship between the type of information conveyed (a misinformation
effect) and the accuracy of recall about the color of the vehicle.
Memory may decay over time.
The level of stress will affect recall.

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There will be a relationship between the level of stress and confidence, such that
confidence declines as stress rises.
Method
Participants: The study comprises of 72 participants, among which the number of males and
females is equal i.e. 36. 23 of them are African American, 31 Caucasian, 14 Latino and 4 others.
Their age ranged between 18 to 49 years with mean of 27.75 years and standard deviation of
7.84 years.
Procedures
Participants are randomly assigned to one of three levels of stress: high stress, where they are
writing a final exam immediately following their participation in the experiment; medium stress,
where they are writing a final exam the day following their participation; and low stress, where
their participation comes two weeks prior to their final exam. They are shown one of two
different versions of a video of a bank robbery and instructed to pay close attention to detail.
All versions share the same beginning scenario, with two individuals entering a bank to rob it.
The first individual (individual #1) is 5'10" tall and of medium build, wearing blue jeans, a black
leather jacket, and black tennis shoes. This individual is wearing a ski mask with the holes
around the eyes large enough for the color of the skin, which is white or light colored, to be
visible. The second individual (individual #2) is 6'2" and heavyset, wearing black sweat pants, a
red jacket, and dark work boots. This individual is wearing a ski mask identical to that of
individual #1. The skin around the eyes is dark. No other skin is visible on either individual.
Individual #1 walks to the window and hands the teller a note, bringing up the right hand, which
is in the pocket, to simulate a gun. It is unknown whether an actual gun was used. Individual #2
stays back a step as if keeping watch. After the teller gives money to the robber, the two robbers

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1 Introduction Literature Review Social scientists have long been interested in the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. Several studies over the past few decades have demonstrated that eyewitnesses are not always accurate (e.g., Buckhout, 1974; Bornstein & Zickafoose, 1999). More recently, many individuals have filed appeals based on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) evidence. Of those acquitted on this basis, 78 percent had originally been convicted based on strong eyewitness testimony (Stambor, 2006). One reason witnesses may err when recalling information about a criminal is the misinformation effect, which involves "incorporating 'misinformation' into one's memory of the event after receiving misleading information about it" (Myers, 2008). Elizabeth Loftus (1978, 1979a, 1979b, 2001) and her associates have repeatedly demonstrated this effect, finding that memory can be "constructed" based on suggestive questions and information given after the fact. Other factors that play a role in our ability to recall information are decay and stress. Shapiro & Penrod (1986) presented evidence that suggests memory may decay over time, while other researchers have found that as stress increases, the accuracy of recall decreases (Deffenbacher, Bornstein, Penrod, & McGorty, 2004; Payne, Nadel, Allen, Thomas, & Jacobs, 2002). Hypotheses Given what we have learned through the literature review, our hypotheses are: • There will be a relationship between the type of information conveyed (a misinfo ...
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