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  • forty-five students were shown seven different traffic accident films. Each of the five groups were given a similar questions that was 'about how fast were the cars going when they hit each other?'.
  • the same question was asked to all five groups but one specific leading word was changed throughout the different groups
  • The words that were to replace the word 'Hit' were smashed, collided, bumped and contacted.
  • The highest mean speed estimation for the variation of words was 40.8 for smashed. the lowest mean of speed estimation was 31.8.
  • This is due to the fact each word was chosen as they all have different connotations of speed. A simple change of word can mislead the eyewitness and be suggestive to the answer.
  • supporting evidence was that different people were shown a film of a car crash and asked if they saw broken glass one week later. once again the verbs were change only between smashed, hit and control and proved similar results.
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