Friday, 22 August 2008

New Zealand: The impact of false recall on eyewitness accounts

Research showing that memories can often be manipulated and falsified when people discuss their experiences has earned a Victoria University PhD student a prize at the MacDiarmid Young Scientists of the Year Awards.

PhD psychology student Lauren French says her research could have an impact within the justice system that relies on accurate eyewitness recall.

Ms French's research tested whether people’s memories change eyewitness reports when the people are exposed to false information via a discussion with others who have supposedly experienced the same event.

To do so, Ms French collaborated with researchers in Japan, using polarisation filter techniques that enable two people to watch what they believe to be the same movie but that is actually two movies with different detail.

The partners then discussed their recall of the movies...

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