There has been extensive research conducted on both estimator and system variables and how they specifically relate to the witnessing of a crime. Estimator variables represent sources of eyewitness error that are beyond the control of the criminal justice system. They typically happen during or following the crime before investigators are able to arrive on the scene. This represents the basic way humans perceive things and remember them and their overall influence can only be estimated. On the other hand, system variables are controlled by people within the criminal justice system when collecting information from eyewitnesses. In this case, errors are preventable. I will be discussing three estimator variables and three system variables and …show more content…
Unfortunately, most people are not immune to this effect. The misinformation effect occurs when people witness an event and are later exposed to new and misleading information about the event which causes their memory to become distorted. Misinformation can come from co-witnesses comparing notes, family members and peers, police investigating a crime, and lawyers in the courtroom. Studies have shown that it is harder for police officers and lawyers to share misleading information that pertains to important or noticeable factors from the case. It through other studies that we have been able to identify young children and elderly people to be more susceptible to the effects of misinformation. The misinformation effect belongs in the system variables category because it can be caused by law enforcement and lawyers who are information …show more content…
Research has indicated that police investigators should pay attention to witness’s level of confidence when determining the accuracy of their offender identifications. Other studies show that a higher confidence level in the witness leads to a more accurate decision when identifying the culprit. Also, highly confident decisions, rapid decisions, and decisions accompanied by relevant recollection are more likely to be accurate than those made with low confidence. There are several things which can influence eyewitness certainty, including post identification feedback and poorly constructed lineups. Sometimes witnesses are confident that the perpetrator is not in the lineup and they are referred to as non-choosers. Witness confidence and certainty are a part of the system variable category because it can be
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John (Jack) Salmon was charged with the murder of his common-law wife, Maxine Ditchfield, a 28 year old dog groomer and mother of three who had died due to fatal brain injuries on September 22th, 1970. John, a welder, met Maxine in 1967 and they started dating each other in 1970, and then moved in together. Following the couple’s time at a local hotel drinking beer, and later returning to their friends, Don and Mary Claydon’s residence where they continued to drink before deciding to go back to their house. That night and the following morning, Maxine experienced several falls with the associated bruising and marks on her face and body from hitting the floor and washroom features, resulting in evident changes in her movements. John
She was shown photographs which included Hay’s photograph (taken 18 months earlier) and she selected him as an 80% likeness. Three weeks later, she was shown a sequence of photographs which included one of Hay (taken hours after the murder) and she did not select any photograph. At a second identification process, Maillard didn’t select any photographs and, when shown the photograph of Hay she stated that he looked very different and that in his arrest photo, he did not have a gaunt face like that of the second gunman at the club. An article by Pezdek, Abed & Cormia (2021) explores the relationship between stress and eyewitness memory accuracy, as well as the relationship between stress and eyewitness confidence. They found that stress impairs the accuracy of eyewitness memory but not the confidence-accuracy relationship.
Followed by the lack of corroboration, which is an important aspect in courtrooms, “corroboration will add credibility to the memory and lack of it may raise doubts about the allegations.” Loftus considers that relying on memory is not a valid way of justice; the legal system needs to improve when eyewitness testimonials are used in the courts. Loftus confides as a psychologist that psychological science has taught them about human memory and that the research has revealed the limits of human memory. Adding on, these research findings need to be incorporated in procedures to improve the court system. She hopes readers will acknowledge the fact that the use of memories in a trial can be problematic since they are “dangerous” and can lead to false
This creates a major issue within a judicial system. It takes a few eye witness testimonies towards the prosecuted individual to incarcerate them, even if they did not commit the crime. It is because of this reason that Scott Fraser chooses to speak out against eye witness testimonies. In his speech, he argues that memory is fallible and should not be as heavily relied upon within the judicial system.
As well a lay person may believe a false eyewitness, believing they would not change what exactly they saw. A follow up study to help with these limitations would be a study that would have a more diverse selection of people. They would be administered one of the three scenarios as well. While the people are viewing the scenario, they will also be taking an exam to depict if they are racist or not or have feelings towards people that are different from them.
Historically, eyewitness accounts of a crime were a vital piece of evidence used in the prosecution of criminal offenses. Lineups were a method used where typically a group of individuals not involved in the crime along with the suspect whom is believed to be directly related to the crime are grouped together for the witness to review in the hopes to identify the suspect. This is accomplished in two ways, the first is simultaneous where several photos are grouped together at the same time (typically six) for the witness to review. This specific procedure raises the issue of certainty from the witness.
Are You Sure? Why have more than two-thousand people exonerated for crimes they didn’t commit? Eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the U.S. Memory can be influenced by anxiety, stress, reconstructive memory and other factors possibly affecting the testimony of the eyewitness and in turn, misleading the jury. I think that when subjects witness a crime they will struggle to remember important details of the event, and their recollection could be easily altered. This is because the reconstructive memory can be influenced by factors such as stress, anxiety, and verbal cues.
Furthermore, there can be several factors at play when a wrongful conviction occurs and each case is unique. Three of the more common and detrimental factors that will be explored in this essay are eyewitness error, the use of jailhouse informants and professional and institutional misconduct. Firstly, eyewitness testimony can be a major contributor to a conviction and is an important factor in wrongful conviction (Campbell & Denov, 2016, p. 227). Witness recall and, frankly, the human emory are not as reliable as previously thought. In fact there has been much research showing the problems with eyewitness testimony such as suggestive police interviewing, unconscious transference, and malleability of confidence (Campbell & Denov, 2016, p.227).
Most cases where someone has been exonerated due to DNA retesting had a problem with eyewitnesses misidentifying the suspects. This is a problem that can change someone’s life forever. Misidentification of suspects is a flaw in the criminal justice system that can be addressed through more police training and increased help from the judges. Misidentification by the eyewitnesses and the police officers are current problems in the justice system. Suspects are identified by the eyewitnesses of the crime, but this can lead to some problems with who is identified.
Part One is very informational and contains the bulk of the book’s research. The information was presented in a thesis format; Loftus stated a claim and then supported her ideas with research and quotations from experts in the field of law and memory. Part One is helpful for psychologists, attorneys, and interested law people. The major principles concerning the errors in eyewitness testimony are supported by research and are accepted by psychologists (Kassin, Ellsworth, & Smith, 1989). Part One will contribute to the future of psychology by showcasing how the memory works and the different ways it is manipulated and changed: this will allow jurors and lawyers to become more wary when dealing with a traumatized
Eye witness identification involves selecting an accused perpetrator from a police line up, sketch or being at the crime scene during the murder time. After selecting a suspect, witnesses are asked to make a formal statement confirming the ID of the suspect (s) or other surrounding details which the eyewitness can testify in court. Eyewitnesses are always required to testify in court but eyewitnesses with psychological disorders, substance dependancy are at a higher chance of identifying the wrong suspect therefore wrongfully assisting convict the perpetrator in the wrong (Hal Arkowitz, Scott O. Lilienfeld, January 1, 2010). Anxiety or stress is always associated with crimes involving traumatic events that have previously taken place.
Effects of post identification feedback on eyewitness identification and nonidentification confidence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 334–346. Lindsay, R., & Wells, G. (1985). Improving eyewitness identification from lineups: Simultaneous versus sequential lineup presentations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 70, 556–564.
Thesis: Police interrogations can occasionally lead to false confessions due to misclassification, coercion, and contamination. I. The phrase “Innocent until proven guilty” is a popular statement among law enforcement and government employees, but this statement is not always upheld, as various errors, such as misclassification, are a major cause of false confessions. A. Misclassification errors are caused by “investigator bias,” where the investigator goes into the interrogation believing the suspect is guilty. (Keene)
This highlights the issue of post event information, and how easily it can sway an individual’s recollection of events. Gabbert et al (2004) further looked into this, in this study participants viewed a crime video and were later exposed to four pieces of misinformation about it; presented by a confederate or in a written narrative. Gabbert found that participants were less accurate in recall after they received misinformation, and misinformation given socially was significantly more misleading. Further studies for this misinformation effect comes from Loftus, Miller and Burns (1978), here participants (undergraduate students) watched a slide show of a car driving and then hitting a pedestrian. Some participants were then asked the leading question “how fast was the car travelling when it passed the yield sign?”
The Fundamental Attribution Error states that people tend to overestimate the impact of dispositional influences on others’ behavior and underestimate the impact of situational influences on other behavior's. In order to better understand this, we must set clear what dispositional and situational influences are. Dispositional influences we refer to enduring characteristics, such as personality traits, attitudes, and intelligence; influences found inside every individual. On the other hand, situational influences refer to external situations that can influence someone to behave in someway.