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Updated: Monday, April 12, 1999 10:50:16 AM

Schemas & Just world Belief Classical Conditioning Operant Conditioning
Sensory Memory Short Term Memory Long Term Memory
Confidence and Memory Heuristics Attribution
Norms Social Influence & Obedience All Notes in one view

Section 2: Confidence and Memory

There is little or no relationship between witness confidence and witness accuracy.

Memory Confidence affects the decisions of juries.

Mock Juries
    Circumstantial evidence
        18% conviction rate, just on circumstantial evidence
            then add one eye witness, the conviction rate goes up to 72%

In a picture line-up, even without the perpetrator, the victim will still pick someone.  Later with a second line-up with the perpetrator, the witness will stay with their original choice instead of picking the real perpetrator.

Elizabeth Loftus

Paradigm - model for research.

She studies memory and has the view that repressed memories are unlikely because the primary cause of forgetting is not repression; rather it is due to other factors (e.g., interference, decay) and not because we want to forget the event/memory.

To explain why people believe in memories that never existed, she developed a paradigm in which she implants the memory of being lost in a shopping mall in people (young adults) who were never lost in a mall.

She has found that she is able to implant the memory in some of participants in her study. She argues that a similar process may occur in some sexual abuse cases. Memories of sexual abuse may be implanted by the therapist. For example, the therapist may say:

"are you sure that you weren’t sexually abused, you may be suppressing these feelings. That would explain why you are having such problems."

After analyzing transcripts of therapy sessions, she noted that some therapists suggest memories to the clients in a way that may be very conducive to forming false memories.





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