A Case of Mistaken Memory?
The Psychology of Eyewitness Memory
Department of Psychology & Communicative Disorders
Saint Mary’s College
This case explores the fundamental principles of memory, eyewitness accuracy, and police questioning techniques in witness identification in a criminal case. By studying the details of an actual series of attacks and the subsequent police investigation, students learn that memory is a reconstructive process rather than an accurate recording of events. The case has been used in an undergraduate introductory psychology course and in a course on psychology and the law. It could also be used in a cognitive psychology course.
- Demonstrate that memory is a reconstructive process rather than an accurate recording of events.
KeywordsMemory; eyewitness; witness identification; suggestive questioning; misattribution of source; lineup bias
Topical AreasLegal issues, Social issues
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Type / MethodsDiscussion
Subject HeadingsPsychology | Forensic Science |
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