Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
The purpose of the present studies was to assess the separate and interactive effects of misinformation and group discussion on eyewitness testimony. In Experiments 1and 2, participants viewed a short video of a simulated robbery and shooting, and were then presented with either neutral or misleading information that was embedded in forced-choice questionnaires in a recognition test. Participants were subsequently randomly assigned to a group-recognition or individual-recognition condition. Groups were instructed to answer questions about details of the video (in Experiment 1 they were instructed to try to reach consensus), while individuals completed the recognition task on their own. Finally, all participants again completed a recognition test, and an open-ended recall test conceming the details of the video. A misinformation effect was found for both studies. However, the prediction that misled groups would report more of the misleading items than misled individuals was not supported. Groups, however, correctly recognized more of the neutral items than did individuals. Experiment 2, which investigated the effects of misinformation on misleading items with differing base rates (i.e., the number of participants who endorse the misleading information prior to group discussion), found that there was a reduction in the number of misleading items that were reported from the first to the third recognition test, even for those items that a majority of participants initially endorsed. Implications of the group recall superiority and repeated testing effects for mock witness recall are discussed.
Cook, Matthew A., "The effects of misleading information and group discussion on eyewitness testimony" (2001). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 706.