Elizabeth Loftus Experiment

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  • I want you all to watch this video of the cars. Take a mental note of everything you see as I will be interviewing you later.
  • (7 Videos ranging from 5 to 30 seconds)
  • Loftus and Palmer's study's aim was to find out whether a leading question affects the recall of memories.
  • How fast were the cars going when they collided?
  • 45 participants were split into 5 groups of 9 and asked the above questions about the film they had just watched.
  • How fast were the cars going when they smashed
  • When they hit?
  • when they contacted?
  • How fast were they going when they bumped?
  • smashed 40.8 mph
  • collided 39.3 mph
  • bumped 38.1 mph
  • hit 34 mph
  • contacted 31.8 mph
  • The results showed that the leading question had a direct effect on the estimations that the students had on the speed of the cars.
  • The experiment was a good piece of evidence and research of how misleading information by leading questions can affect the recall of an eyewitness' testimony in court.
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