eyewitness testimony essay
Number: 2842657 Schemas are an effective method of processing and encoding information [20] .

Schemas: The human mind has evolved its memory capacity and the ability to remember certain aspects by organising information into categories, otherwise known as schemas [8] .

other significant event, and the types of errors that are commonly Related documents. I could not believe it. Works Cited Missing The reliability if an eyewitness testimony is questionable. Further studies have also had comparable, (The Justice Project).” Eyewitness testimony is highly relied on by judges, but it can not always be trusted. When correct, eyewitness accounts can aid in the conviction of many guilty people. The use of eyewitness testimony has provided crucial evidence that can often lead to the identification and arrest of a criminal suspect or a hazardous event can be avoided. On the other hand, interference which is the loss of old stimuli as a result of new information can also subsequently reduce the accuracy of eyewitness accounts. By encouraging witnesses to reminisce about past episodes that have occurred within their lives, Freud insinuated that they could reinstate long-forgotten yet important memories from their past into their consciousness. The Yerkes-Dodson theory [23] demonstrates that if a witness observes a crime that is substantially violent and/or makes the witness experience high levels of fear and anxiety, they are less likely to remember any significant levels of information because of the extreme stress which results in encoding of information inaccurate. Freud insisted that these memories were never lost or forgotten as they are “only inaccessible and latent, having become a part of the unconscious” [13] . Also, in cases where little material evidence can be collected, eyewitnesses are the focus for reaching a verdict. After the observation, the subjects were then asked questions about the events that occurred in the films; “How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?” The use of the word “smash” demonstrated higher estimations in the speed of the car as opposed to other verbs used in place of ‘smash’ such as ‘collided, bumped, contacted and hit’. The memories that the mind deems as important for growth and use consistently is life are episonic which represents the episode of the memory where as certain skill or piece of information; semantic which identifies what that piece of information consists of and what it is and finally procedural which processes who that information is to be used or handled. The question of witness account accuracy raises questions about whether the time after the incident occurred, if the account is still valid as evidence because quite often, large amounts of time and substantial interference can deteriorate the information from memory. of the existing true memory. The Multi-store model theory consists of the memory being divided into three stages, the first stage being the sensory store, the second stage is the short term memory (working memory) and the third being long term memory. Stern and Dunning, 1994 [10]quoted that eyewitness testimony is perhaps ‘the most compelling types of evidence presented to police investigations and criminal trials’.

The results indicated that subjects remembered seeing the false image; the introduction of false cues altered the memory of the participants in the experiment. The process of information being transferred from the short term memory into the long term memory was an experiment conducted by psychologists Welch and Burnett in 1924. The “weapons focus” effect [22] perceives to be a result of the witness’s attention being predominantly directed towards the weapon, resulting in diversion of attention away from the situational aspects and the criminal suspect. We're here to answer any questions you have about our services. The transfer of information from one store to another is controlled by the process of attention and rehearsal of memories.

In particular, group questioning which gives into reason the reliability of witness recollections as they may conform in order to fit each other’s interpretation of what happened. There is only one way a witness can identify a suspect who has committed a crime, and it is called face to face recognition. [1].

people have similar schemas and this was recognized by Bower, Black From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs. [7]. Eyewitness testimonies can be affected by many psychological factors, these include anxiety/stress, reconstructive memory, weapon focus and leading questions. To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on the UKDiss.com website then please: Our academic writing and marking services can help you! If later eyewitnesses need to be interviewed, they should be able to recall as much information that they reported initially, avoiding any extra information that they may have picked up from third party interference. Eyewitness testimony impacts strongly upon the trial process and the verdicts that are given by the jury are quite often influenced heavily by eyewitness accounts. Freud referred to these memories as “true memories” and described that they lay deep in the unconscious element of the brain, where they lay undisturbed as a factor of surface mental activity. Student: Amy Mason throughout our lives. Article #17 Although a Testimony by a bystander or a victim regarding an incident is a great tool for further investigation, testimonies are often times false and can lead to … 2017/2018. Apart from the media, other external influences may include other witness accounts of what happened and/or the type of environment that the situation may have occurred in, e.g. In 2007, The Innocence Project stated that over 75% of unjust convictions contained eye witness testimonies (Innocence Project, 2007). These elements include the effect of weapon focus on witness memory, how leading questions can manipulate witness statements and recollection of memory, reconstructive errors of memory and the application of psychological experiments when exploring the function of these elements on the human memory. Eyewitness testimonies rely heavily upon a human’s memory. After we discovered this information, we became curious as to whether in a testimony, the eyewitness’ memory is more reliable after a short period of time or after a longer period of time? The witness may re-interpret their witness statements to match what the media has claimed may have existed or happened. There have been many cases in which an innocent person gets sent to prison for a crime they did not commit because an eyewitness testified that they were the ones that they saw at the scene of the crime. The application of the eyewitness testimony includes multiple formal questioning sessions with witnesses on trial, taking statements of the events witnessed and witnesses appearing in court with the jury. Specific questions that can be used in the interviewing process may help the witness to run through their track of events which in some circumstances reveal any recollection of events without any external influence. Conformity: Through the questioning process that witnesses must endure, group questioning in particular, gives into reason the reliability of witness recollections as they may conform in order to fit each other’s interpretation of what happened. Copyright © 2003 - 2020 - UKEssays is a trading name of All Answers Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales. Bartlett then asked his participants to talk aloud at the same time as memorising the picture. Free resources to assist you with your university studies! This conclusively makes their eyewitness account unreliable because they fail to remember any substantial amounts of information and detail of what happened and of the perpetrator.

Scepticism of the validity of eye witness testimonies has increased dramatically; scientific credibility of forensic evidence has weakened its reliability.


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