Memory does not work like a video recording of your life. One area that students are often interested in is the application of memory research to the area of eyewitness testimony. Psychologists have been examining the limitations of eyewitness memory for over 40 years. For example, in 1974, Loftus and Palmer found that people’s reports of the speed that cars were traveling before an accident varied as a factor of how researchers asked questions after the event. So, people estimated that cars were traveling faster if they were asked “How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other” compared to the estimates when the verb used was “contacted”.
- Discuss some of the variables (at least 3) that researchers have investigated in this area