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Describe Using Any Relevant Evidence, One Factor Influencing Identification. Essay

  • Submitted by: Ansare101
  • on May 19, 2013
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 377 words

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Below is an essay on "Describe Using Any Relevant Evidence, One Factor Influencing Identification." from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Psychologists have been trying to find out on what kind of objects/things do witnesses look at directly, for example in an incident involving a gun, the witness will fixate his eyes on the weapon they are put under pressure when a gun is in the criminal’s hand and we do know what he/she will do with that weapon. The weapon effect refers to the concentration of a witness’s attention on a weapon which results in them having difficulty recalling other details of the scene and identifying the offender of the crime. Previous research carried out has shown that people fixate their gaze for longer, faster and more often on unusual or highly informative objects. One study which provided support for the ‘weapon focus’ effect when witnessing a crime was conducted by Loftus et al. This lab experiment involved 36 students at the University of Washington, aged 18-31 which were recruited through advertisement and either given $3.50 or extra credit in psychology class. A slideshow consisted of two sets with 18 slides presented to students and they were shown to customers in a line. The control group had person B (second in line) which hands the cashier a cheque and in the experimenter condition, person B pulls the gun which is the independent variable. All the other slides in both series were identical and shown for 1 and a half seconds. The dependent variable measured by a 20-item multiple-choice questionnaire that the students had to fill in. Participants were also given a line-up of 12 head & shoulder photos in a random sequence, asked to rate how confident they were of their identification on a scale of 1 (guess) to 6 (very sure).   The results were the control participants chose correctly 38.9% of the time whereas the weapon condition chose correctly 11.1 of the time. There was no difference in the confidence of the participants across the conditions and eye fixation data showed an average of 3.72 on the gun and 2.44 on the cheque. The conclusions were participants spent...

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