How reliable are eye witness memories?: Effects of retention interval, violence of act, and gender stereotypeson observers’ judgments of their own memory regarding witnessed act andperpetrator
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of (i) stimulus person’s gender, (ii) type of act (neutral or violent), and (iii) retention interval (short or long) on observers’ memory of a stimulus person. Participants were presented with one of two acts; neutral (walking around in a store) or violent (robbing a store). The retention interval was 10 minutes or 1-3 weeks. The dependent variables were questionnaire items concerning the participants' memory of (1) the stimulus person’s appearance and (2) the event, and (3) rating scales where the participants were asked to evaluate the stimulus person’s aggressiveness, insensitivity, and other personality traits as well as characteristics of the act. Results showed that when the act was violent, and a long RI was used, a female, but not a male, stimulus person was evaluated less harshly than with a short RI (enhancement of gender stereotype); a stimulus person was seen as behaving in a more masculine way when performing a violent rather than a neutral act; witnessing the violent act resulted in better self-rated memory of the stimulus person; and with increasing retention interval, the violent act was seen as less negative and the neutral act as more negative (regression toward the mean).
eye witness, perpetrator, gender, type of act, time, memory retrieval
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38658OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-38658DiVA: diva2:312273