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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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