Eyewitness Memory Accuracy

General Introduction
The topic selected for this report is Eyewitness recollection accuracy. The topic is of exemplary importance because it is one that has practical implications. A research performed in this area serves to contribute to the perception regarding the practice of taking eyewitness testimonies into account during legal proceedings. Needless to highlight, countless cases have been brought to their resolutions after taking eyewitness testimonies into consideration.

The research performed in this area on the other hand, reveals that the accuracy of eyewitness memory retention and recollection is far from accurate. It is because of this reason that there is a need for credible and research in the area that can serve to eliminate this paradox.

Article 1 Introduction
The research in the article addresses the problem or question outlined by attempting to study the legitimacy of eyewitness statements by establishing the degree to which eyewitnesses are able to accurately recall what they have seen (Megreya  Burton, 2008).

This approach is different from most of the previous researches performed in this area because previous researches fundamentally chose to rely on live targets to carry out their experiments while this research chose to make use of photographs instead of live targets (Megreya  Burton, 2008).

Article 1 Hypothesis
The study was designed to test the hypothesis that sought to establish the degree of efficiency with which viewers were able to accurately match photographs to live people under a minimal set of constraints. The variables involved in the study were the targets and the stimuli. The research specifically sought to test the efficiency of photographic to recognize individuals present in person, from their photographs (Megreya  Burton, 2008). This efficiency was measured by presenting participants with opportunities to match individuals present in person with a set of photographs in order to determine the efficiency with which they managed to do so correctly. The result expected from the research was the recording of a broadly low degree of efficiency for face matching abilities, indicating poor performance in memories of eyewitnesses.

Article 1 Method
The research employed three different experiments to test the singular hypothesis. The first experiment entailed the testing of immediate memory and used exposure to static video images, followed by exposure to a line-up of 10 faces in which only one was the same as the one shown in the static video image five seconds earlier. The second method removed the five second gap and the targets and the line-up and target images were put forth simultaneously (Megreya  Burton, 2008). This was followed by the third method in which the participants were provided with pairs of faces some of which were identical while others bore little or no resemblance. The purpose of all three experiments was to test the face processing system in order to test the hypothesis.

Article 1 Results
The result from the first experiment held that there was no difference between the accuracy of the recognition in photographed and live targets. Efficiency levels for both target-present and target-absent testing procedures were found to be considerably low. Participants performed poorly in identifying the faces even thought the setting was one that gave them an optimal environment (Megreya  Burton, 2008). The results from the second experiment showed that the participants were unable to positively recognize photographs even though they were present in optimal conditions. The third experiment asserted that the degree of accuracy to which individuals can match a real person to a photograph is the same as that of matching two photographs.

Article 1 Conclusion
The research concluded that the presence of a live target has no positive implications on positive identification and misidentifications were frequent. The research, through its multiple experiments, also concluded that the overall procedure of the encoding of unfamiliar faces is riddled with difficulty (Megreya  Burton, 2008). At this point, the research established its stance as one which agreed with former researches that had reported low accuracy rates.

It is essential to note that the research, in its first experiment, made use of a very brief time interval between exposure to target and the test array. This makes it considerably different from a real-world situation in which the interval can span well over hours. Also, the experiment did not take any other real-world variables into account (Megreya  Burton, 2008). While no considerable drawbacks were established for the second experiment, the third experiment incorporated the drawback of possibly incorporating bias in its findings. The key question that went unanswered in the research was the degree to which the difference between laboratory settings and reality differ and the implications that the differences have.

Article 2 Introduction
The research in the article addresses the subject outlined in your general introduction through a series of three experiments (Fiedler, Kaczor, Haarmann, Stegmuller,  Maloney, 2009). Each of these experiments was meant to acquire a better understanding of how eyewitness recollection can be stimulated through re-contextualization and a supporting of the ability to discriminate between seemingly similar targets.

The approach is not too different from other researches because it attempts to explore the subject of the study through a multi-experiment approach, which appears to be customary in the case of studies exploring eyewitness recollection accuracy.

Article 2 Hypothesis
The research considers the hypothesis that eyewitnesses tend to exercise a leniency bias that causes them to correctly identify just as many targets as they incorrectly identify. The study also hypothesizes that participants tend to negatively identify targets in a majority of the scenarios (Fiedler, Kaczor, Haarmann, Stegmuller,  Maloney, 2009). The variables considered by the study include those such as time interval between the incident and the recognition test, the feedback, the emotional status of the eyewitness, the presence of racial or ethnic bias in the eyewitnesses perceptions.

The study specifically aims to test the social-cognition approach to the memory of eyewitnesses. The research claims that many few studies in the past have done so and sets this as its focus in the earlier paragraphs of the study (Fiedler, Kaczor, Haarmann, Stegmuller,  Maloney, 2009). This measurement was made through three differing yet related experiments, each of which was designed to probe into the subject of the research through a relatable yet unique perspective.

Article 2 Method
The first experiment made use of a slide show that was synthetically composed in an attempt to generate a scenario incorporating numerous people in movement. Several recognition tests were carried out through exposure to numerous targets. A total of eighty research participants were used (Fiedler, Kaczor, Haarmann, Stegmuller,  Maloney, 2009). The second experiment incorporated almost the same fundamentals as the first experiment but entailed a drastic increase in the number of possibilities. The third experiment moved away from the sequence that the research had been following in the first and second experiments. The third experiment exposed participants to elements such as late impressions and the cognitive interview, both of which were designed to assess whether an improvement change occurred in the eyewitnesses recollection.

Article 2 Results
It was observed as a result of the first experiment that explicit memory is influenced considerably as a result of impression formation (Fiedler, Kaczor, Haarmann, Stegmuller,  Maloney, 2009). It was observed as a result of the first experiment that explicit memory is influenced considerably as a result of impression formation.

Article 2 Conclusion
The research concluded that former researches in the area of eyewitness memory and recollection hold weight since it was revealed that formation of impression stimulates accurate recollection (Fiedler, Kaczor, Haarmann, Stegmuller,  Maloney, 2009). The research also concluded that the augmentation of an impression-formation task serves to bring about a dramatic increase in the accuracy of the eyewitnesses recollections. The authors brought the research to a conclusion by highlighting the need for further research and elaborating on the increased severity of the variables in real world circumstances as opposed to a controlled laboratory setting. The findings of the research experienced limitations in terms of the absence of a theoretical explanation behind the cognitive processes. The researchers also present numerous questions as recommendations for further research towards the end of the article.

General Discussion
It is apparent from the details of the two articles discussed above that eyewitness memory comes across as a rather weak instrument to consider reliable when taking testimonies from eyewitnesses. Of the two articles chosen, one was a recent research while the second served to provide a comprehensive view of the body of research that is present. Both the studies showed that eyewitness memory is far from reliable. It was observed that eyewitness recollections are inaccurate in optimal research conditions and can therefore be expected to be even worse in real-world scenarios.


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