alexa Reconstructing memory: The incredible eyewitness
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): Elizabeth F Loftus

Abstract Share this page

That statement has ended many an argument, since for most people seeing is believing. But it shouldn't be. Between the time you first witness an event and the time you recount it to someone else, your memory of the event may change drastically. Many factors can affect the accuracy of your report. I have found that the questions asked about an event influence the way a witness "remem-bers" what he saw. Changing even one word in a single question can systematically alter an eyewitness account. Most previous research on this topic has been directed toward demonstrating how poor eyewitness testimony is, without exploring why people make the errors they do. One favorite method of study has been to stage an incident, then interrogate all the witnesses about what hap-pened. Typically, everyone tells a different story. In a study conducted at Dartmouth in the 1930s, some students unknowingly became subjects in such an experiment. While a class was in session, a man dressed in workman's overalls entered the room, made some remarks about the heat, tinkered with the radiator for a minute or two, and left. About two weeks later he returned with five other men of similar appearance, and the students were asked to pick him out from a lineup of all six individuals. Seventeen percent of the students chose the wrong man. Another group of students, who had not witnessed the event but who were told they had seen it, also had to make a selection. Seventy percent of these subjects reported (correctly) that they could not recall the incident, but 29 percent did point to one of the men. That is, they "identified" a man they had never seen.

  • To read the full article Visit
  • Subscription
This article was published in Jurimetrics J and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Relevant Expert PPTs

Relevant Speaker PPTs

Relevant Topics

Peer Reviewed Journals
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2017-18
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

Agri, Food, Aqua and Veterinary Science Journals

Dr. Krish

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9040

Clinical and Biochemistry Journals

Datta A

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9037

Business & Management Journals


1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Journals

Gabriel Shaw

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9040

Earth & Environmental Sciences

Katie Wilson

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

Engineering Journals

James Franklin

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9042

General Science and Health care Journals

Andrea Jason

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9043

Genetics and Molecular Biology Journals

Anna Melissa

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9006

Immunology & Microbiology Journals

David Gorantl

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9014

Informatics Journals

Stephanie Skinner

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Material Sciences Journals

Rachle Green

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9039

Mathematics and Physics Journals

Jim Willison

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9042

Medical Journals

Nimmi Anna

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9038

Neuroscience & Psychology Journals

Nathan T

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9041

Pharmaceutical Sciences Journals

John Behannon

1-702-714-7001Extn: 9007

Social & Political Science Journals

Steve Harry

1-702-714-7001 Extn: 9042

© 2008-2017 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version