EyeWitnesses and Misinformation EffectNameInstitutionalAffiliation AbstractThis paperexplores five articles that were published online all of which analyze thesignificance of eyewitness testimonies and the misinformation effect that mayarise.An eyewitness is a person that sees some act, thing or occurrence andgives a first-hand account on it. Eyewitnesses are so highly regarded as theyare largely believed to be sure of what they saw and in most cases regarded asthose who are telling the truth above other people. Given that eyewitnessesare, as a matter of fact, at the scene of an occurrence, they observeeverything that happens. However, too much information, which the eyewitnessesgather after the occurrence makes them biased that they only remember episodicevents. The misinformation turns some eyewitnesses into perpetrators of mythsand incorrect information which is then fit to an-easy-to-believe theory.
Thispaper explores the usefulness of eyewitnesses and the effect of misinformationthat comes later along with some theories developed to try and explain theevents. It further looks into how one can alienate the truth from falsetheories after an occurrence, especially a tragic one. EyeWitnesses and Misinformation EffectThispaper analyzes how misinformation of eyewitnesses, wording of interviewquestions, post warning of witnesses, manipulation of memories by speakers andmisleading children by using inappropriate non-verbal cues influences thememories of a witness. It further analyzes the methodologies applied and theirlimitations.Literature Review In Vaitl et al.’s (2017) summaryarticle focuses on a test was conducted on seventy five participants with afully-randomized video with nine randomized details.
The participants were leftfor ten minutes after which they were given a narrative text which had six fakedetails in the sense that only three original details were in the text as inthe video. The three retained details cued memories that were however affectedby the misleading details in the text narrative. The levels of confidence wereassessed. The participants were convinced that they were giving the rightinformation. In Higham et al.’s (2017) the article focuses on the effects of postwarnings on the testimonies given by eyewitnesses. This article looks into theextent of the specificity of the details that the eyewitnesses are exposed to.
A higher distortion is observed when misleading details are given to a largerextent than the little distortion in a case of less extent of misleadingdetails in the post warning. In Loftus E. (2017) the majorproponents of human memory are the details that one is given in a speech. Thepresentation, (emotion, non-verbal cues) of a speech determine the details thatthe audience will remember based on the varied emphasis on different aspects ofthe speech by a speaker. The argument is that misleading information given by aspeaker may to some extent distort the memories of some listeners.InDodimead et al.’s (2015) a study on how children memories is influenced by theinterviewer’s gestures is evaluated. The children were, in a test, made towatch a video after which they were interrogated.
Misleading gestures by theinterviewer led the children to giving distorted information by using the wrongnon-verbal cues. An interviewer would for example ask a child about thedressing of a particular character in the video and simultaneously perform agestute (of a hat for example) and the children ended up giving wronginformation.InHickman G. (2017) the article evaluates how wording of questions influences theanswers given by an eyewitness. The study was carried out on youths with anaverage age of 19.2 years.
In a video involving a car accident for example, thewords “the cars smashed” and “the cars came into with each other” led todifferent responses on the same video. The wording of interview triggers falsememories at times Reference· Gurney D., Edwards R.,Dodimead C.
( 2015). Handmade memories: The robustness of the gestural misinformationeffect in children’s eyewitness interviews.Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.· Hickman G. (2017) . Effects ofquestion wording on eyewitness testimony.
AJournal of Students Research.· Higham P., Blank H.,Luna K. (2017) Effects of post warning specificityon memory performance and confidence in the eyewitness misinformation paradigm.
Journal of Experimental Psychology.· Loftus E.( 2017)Eavesdropping on Memory.
Annual Review ofPsychology· Volz K., Leonhart R.,Stark R.
, Vaitl D. (2017)Psychophysiological correlates of the misinformationeffect. International Journal of Psychophysiology.