EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY

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.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Washington, Seattle

    Department of Psychology
    Seattle, WA  USA  98195

    Urban Mass Transportation Administration

    400 7th Street, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20590
  • Authors:
    • Loftus, E F
  • Publication Date: 1975-9

Media Info

  • Pagination: 22 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • 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