Eye witness memory

The BBC magazine has a short article on eye witness memory that reviews some recent research on eye witness testimony of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menzies and a report produced by Martin Conway calling for a major rethink of eyewitness memory and the law.

Crashing Memories and the Problem of Source Monitoring

Hans F. M. Crombag 1 *, Willem A. Wagenaar 2, Peter J. Van Koppen 3
1University of Limburg, The Netherlands
2Leiden University, The Netherlands
3Netherlands Institute for the Study of Criminality and Law Enforcement
*Correspondence to Hans F. M. Crombag, University of Limburg, The Netherlands

We demonstrate that it is relatively easy in a real life situation to make reasonably intelligent adults believe that they have witnessed something they actually have not seen themselves, but only heard reports about from others, and to make them report about particular details of the event. The event concerns the crashing of an El Al Boeing 747 on apartment buildings in Amsterdam. Over sixty per cent of the subjects said they had seen the crash on television, although no television film exists. Unexpectedly, women proved themselves significantly more vulnerable to this effect than men.

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