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A Case of Mistaken Memory?

The Psychology of Eyewitness Memory


Author(s)

Karen Chambers
Department of Psychology & Communicative Disorders
Saint Mary’s College
kchambers@saintmarys.edu

Abstract

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.


Objectives

  • Demonstrate that memory is a reconstructive process rather than an accurate recording of events.

Keywords

Memory; eyewitness; witness identification; suggestive questioning; misattribution of source; lineup bias

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type Methods

Discussion

Language

English

Subject Headings

Psychology  |   Forensic Science  |  


Date Posted

05/09/01

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