Loftus and Palmer

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  • They got 5 groups of 9 students. Each group was shown 7 videos of car crashes. The differences between each group had a different verb in the questions.
  • Each group had to watch 7 videos of car crashes, they were then given a questionnaire about each video. They had to account the accident that had just happened and then answer the questions
  • Car
  • Car
  • The IV between all the groups was that they changed the verb in the question How fast was the car going when they... Contacted, hit, bumped, collided and smashed.
  • Verb Mean speed estimate (mph) Hit 34.0 Contacted 31.8 Smashed 40.8 Collided 39.3 Bumped 38.1
  • Some were staged so could accurately measure the speed: • The film of the car crash at 20 mph was estimated at 37.7mph • The film of the car crash at 30 mph was estimated at 36.2 mph • The two films of the car crash at 40 mph were estimated to be 39.1 and 36.1 mph.
  • This shows that changing the verb had an impact on the speed the participant estimated. This then influenced the particpant and suggests that leading questions can impact an eye witness.
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