The report deals with the following question: When a person has witnessed some unusual event such as a traffic accident, how can complete and accurate information best be obtained about that event. The research focuses specifically on the influence that questions asked subsequently to an event have (1) on the answers to those questions, (2) on the answers to subsequent questions, and (3) on the witness' memory for the incident he has experienced. A major conclusion is that questions asked subsequently to an event can contain new information which becomes integrated into the original memory, causing an alteration or a reconstruction of the witness' memory for that event. Some recommendations are given for how questions can be asked in as neutral a way as possible. In addition, other factors that are known to affect the accuracy and completeness of an eyewitness account are briefly outlined.
University of Washington, SeattleDepartment of Psychology
Seattle, WA United States 98195
Urban Mass Transportation Administration400 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC United States 20590
- Loftus, E F
- Publication Date: 1975-9
- Pagination: 22 p.
- TRT Terms: Crash investigation; Crashes; Insurance claims; Interrogation; Legal factors; Loss and damage claims; Memory; Personnel; Psychological aspects; Recall campaigns; Studies; Testimony; Traffic crashes; Visual perception; Witnesses
- Old TRIS Terms: Concept formation; Investigations
- Subject Areas: Highways; Law; Railroads; Safety and Human Factors; Society;
- Accession Number: 00137043
- Record Type: Publication
- Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
- Report/Paper Numbers: UMTA-WA-11-0004-75-1Final Rpt.
- Files: NTIS, TRIS, USDOT
- Created Date: Aug 23 1978 12:00AM