A total of 490 subjects, in four experiments, saw films of complex, fast-moving events, such as automobile accidents or classroom disruptions. The purpose of these experiments was to investigate how the wording of questions asked immediately after an event may influence responses to questions asked considerably later. The results suggest that questions asked immediately after an event can introduce new—not necessarily correct—information, which is then added to the memorial representation of the event, loftus and palmer 1974 pdf causing its reconstruction or alteration.
Check if you have access through your login credentials or your institution. This research was supported in part by a grant to the author by the United States Department of Transportation, Urban Mass Transportation Administration. The manuscript has benefited enormously from the comments of Dedre Gentner, Geoffrey Loftus, Duncan Luce, and Steve Woods. Diane Altman, Helen Burns, Robert Geballe, John Palmer, and Steven Reed. 1975 Published by Elsevier Inc. Two experiments are reported in which subjects viewed films of automobiled accidents and then answered questions about events occurring in the films. About how fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?
Did you see any broken glass? These results are consistent with the view that the questions asked subsequent to an event can cause a reconstruction in one’s memory of that event. This research was supported by the Urban Mass Transportation Adminstration, Department of Transportation, Grant No. Thanks go to Geoffrey Loftus, Edward E. Smith, and Stephen Woods for many important and helpful comments, Reprint requests should be sent to Elizabeth F.
House of Representatives, ran for the state’s two U. Presuppositions make a detail more readily recalled. As of October 2016, a year after the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. The survey asked the question, governor of Tokyo numerous times since 1995, 250 elections as mayor in villages and cities in southwestern Germany and various times as independent candidate for the Bundestag. Ran unsuccessful campaigns for the U. The syndrome suggests that false memory can be declared a syndrome when recall of a false or inaccurate memory takes great effect on your life.
Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195. 1974 Published by Elsevier Inc. False memory syndrome differs from false memory in that the syndrome is heavily influential in the orientation of a person’s life, while false memory can occur without this significant effect. The syndrome takes effect because the person believes the influential memory to be true.
In 1974, Elizabeth Loftus and John Palmer conducted a study to investigate the effects of language on the development of false memory. The experiment involved two separate studies. In the first test, 45 participants were randomly assigned to watch different videos of a car accident, in which separate videos had shown collisions at 20 miles per hour, 30 miles per hour, and 40 miles per hour. Afterwards, participants filled out a survey. The survey asked the question, “About how fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other? The question always asked the same thing, except the verb used to describe the collision varied. Rather than “smashed”, other verbs used included “bumped”, “collided”, “hit”, or “contacted”.
Participants estimated collisions of all speeds to average between 35 miles per hour to just below 40 miles per hour. If actual speed were the main factor in estimate, it could be assumed that participants would have lower estimates for lower speed collisions. Instead, the word being used to describe the collision seemed to better predict the estimate in speed rather than the speed itself. The second experiment also showed participants videos of a car accident, but the critical manipulation was the verbiage of the follow-up questionnaire. 150 participants were randomly assigned to three conditions.
Those in the first condition were asked the same question as the first study using the verb “smashed”. The second group was asked the same question as the first study, replacing “smashed” with “hit”. The final group was not asked about the speed of the crashed cars. The researchers then asked the participants if they had seen any broken glass, knowing that there was no broken glass in the video. The responses to this question had shown that the difference between whether broken glass was recalled or not heavily depended on the verb used. A larger sum of participants in the “smashed” group declared that there was broken glass.
In this study, the first point brought up in discussion is that the words used to phrase a question can heavily influence the response given. This indication supports false memory as an existing phenomenon. Loftus’ meta-analysis on language manipulation studies suggested the phenomenon effects taking hold on the recall process and products of the human memory. Even the smallest adjustment in a question, such as the article preceding the supposed memory, could alter the responses. For example, having asked someone if they’d seen “the” stop sign, rather than “a” stop sign, provided the respondent with a presupposition that there was a stop sign in the scene. This presupposition increased the number of people responding that they had indeed seen the stop sign. Select adjectives can imply characteristics about an object.
Including said adjectives in a prompt can alter participant responses. Respondents were randomly assigned to have either answered to, “How tall was the basketball player? How short was the basketball player? Rather than asking participants simply for the height of the basketball player, they used adjectives that had an implication for the numerical results. The adjective provided in a sentence can possibly cause a respondent’s answer to be over-exaggerated or under-exaggerated. One can trigger false memories by presenting subjects a continuous list of words.