Eyewitness Accuracy Research Paper by Writer83

Investigates the accuracy of the recall by eyewitnesses of the scene of a crime.
# 150953 | 4,320 words | 5 sources | APA | 2012 | PK
Published on May 15, 2012 in Law (Evidence) , Psychology (Experimental) , Criminology (Forensics)

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This well-written paper reviews several criminal cases to illustrate the problems of eyewitness accuracy, which nonetheless is considered to be influence in trials. Next, the author reviews research and case studies, which indicate that the legal testimony of an eyewitness is problematic especially detailed recall, which can be distorted by the leading questions of defense attorneys. The paper discusses the role of face recognition in forensic psychology, the techniques used for constructing representations of faces and the high potential for false identification.

Table of Contents:
The Case of George Davis
Innocent or Guilty?
Suspect Testimony
The Influence of Violence
Remembering Faces
Identity Parades and Line-Ups

From the Paper:

""I never forget a face!" One often hears people making such claims, but how justifiably? Muriel Woodhead was particularly interested in this issue and conducted an unpublished experiment in which some 100 Cambridge housewives were shown a series of unfamiliar faces on slides and then asked to recognize them when they were re-presented together with a series of similar but new faces. They were also asked how good they thought their memory for faces was. There were large differences in how well they performed on the recognition test, and considerable variation in how good they thought their memory was. Most interesting of all, there was absolutely no relationship between performance and self-rating. Some women performed extremely well but made very modest claims; some claimed to have a remarkable memory for faces and performed very poorly; some were reasonably accurate in their claims; most were somewhere in between. Of course, this may have meant that the test was not very realistic-it did not test memory for faces outside the laboratory-or very reliable.
"In fact it has sometimes been suggested that memory for faces depends on a particular system located in a special part of the brain. One piece of evidence that is sometimes held to support this comes from patients suffering from prosopagnosia, a rare neurological condition in which the person is unable to recognize the faces of previously familiar people, although he or she has no difficulty recognizing objects and no general visual impairment."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bruce, V. (1988). Recognizing faces. Hove, UK: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Ltd. An extended essay on face recognition, relating it both to theoretical models and to practical implications.
  • M.T. Johnson (1993). Memory phenomena in the law. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 7, 603-618. Provides a brief account of the potential value of memory research from the lawyer's point of view.
  • E.F. Loftus (1999). Eyewitness testimony. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. A book that reviews the historical literature and surveys the earlier work done by Loftus herself. It had an important impact on the development of this field.
  • Russell A. Dewey, PhD 2007 Psychology: An Introduction
  • Wayne Weiten (1995). Psychology: Themes and variations. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Eyewitness Accuracy (2012, May 15) Retrieved December 10, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/research-paper/eyewitness-accuracy-150953/

MLA Format

"Eyewitness Accuracy" 15 May 2012. Web. 10 December. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/research-paper/eyewitness-accuracy-150953/>