Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Eyewitness Memory and the Misinformation Effect Essay

Eyewitness Memory and the Misinformation Effect - Essay Example In comparison of both the events, the mugging event brought more correct responses than the shoplifting one. This is because the non-critical events which were being questioned later on were more diverse, well-spread and frequent in the shoplifting one; and hence the greater the probability for error. Whereas in the mugging event, there were less distractions within the same genre and sequence of the happenings for the viewer. The difference in performance was based on the settings and stimuli available. It is not significant as to how different the scores of people are in the two events, but actually the fact that there is a significant variation from the correct score because of misinformation and lapses in short-term memory. Whenever there would be previous information about a previously known object, then the same type of results would surface. Only in a totally new object would the circumstances actually turn out as different. This is because a totally new object would be viewed with full focus, and because there was no previous information to dilute the new concept. The essence lies not in distractions, but in wastage of learned stimuli as part of the memorizing process. For the same reason, learning is also referred to as a relatively permanent change in behaviour. The likelihood of reporting misinformation therefore shall always be there, as the human mind perceives due to varying abilities of attention and cognition - and this difference shall always prevail. The test group presented a lesser amount of 'wastage' in information, but nonetheless, it was still there. The reason is, that the greater the number of stimuli, the more the stress will be on the sensory processes; therefore, memorizing an event 'as it is' would become next to impossible. The controls though had lesser distractions, nonetheless, the fact that they did make mistakes due to their human limitations, makes this concept even more lucid. Also, there is the probability of the zone of 'transference' possibly originating in the testimony of the witness. This basically refers to the relationship the interviewer can have with the interviewee. This may be positive or negative. This can influence the testimony of the witness to sway in either direction, depending on the mood and relationship parameter he intends to adopts with the interviewer. Discussion The misinformation effect can be explained as a memory bias that happens when misinformation affects people's reports of their own memory. This implies, that a person who is experiencing the misinformation effect, is likely to 'pollute' and/or 'dilute' the actual event due to the information already present in the human beings' memory. Distinguishing and differentiating the memory slots, especially when the stimulus is being at a very high speed, then becomes a very difficult task. Loftus and colleagues elaborate this concept, by elucidating that there are two kinds of information which go into a person's memory of an intricate event. The first is the information obtained from perceiving the occurrence, and the second is the additional information supplied to us after the event has taken place. As time passes by, these events get interlinked and entwined with each other, thereby making it virtually impossible to separate the actual event from the previous memory of the individual. What is left in the end is one collective

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