Segments in this Video

Eyewitness Testimony: Misperceptions (04:31)


Eyewitness testimonies are given great credence by courts and juries. A case study reveals the inaccuracy of many eyewitness accounts, and the misperceptions people use when pointing people out as perpetrators.

Variations in Eyewitness Accounts (01:30)

Eyewitnesses to videos of staged crimes report a variety of descriptions of the perpetrator and a variety of accounts of what happened.

Eyewitness Testimony: Memory (04:32)

Memory serves to help people recollect events and people from the past in order to plan for the future. Human beings have complex "knowledge structures" about the most commonly encounter things. Vocabulary: constructive memory and schemas.

Questioning Techniques and Memory (03:07)

Psychological research shows that people's reconstruction of events can be influenced by the question asked. Subtle changes in questions influence witnesses to construct false memories. Vocabulary: leading questions

Leading Questions and Eyewitness Accounts (03:58)

Questions cause eyewitnesses to provide inaccurate testimony. They are influenced by leading questions. People integrate false information into their memories. Vocabulary: "Interview, or experimenter, effect."

Reliability of Eyewitness Testimony (03:16)

Police reconstructions of a criminal activity help to jog witnesses' memories. Unintentional inaccuracies, however, may create false recall in an eyewitness. Hypnosis does not produce entirely accurate eyewitness accounts.

Cognitive Interviews of Eyewitnesses (04:28)

Psychologists develop a cognitive approach to interviewing witnesses in which the witnesses review and re-experience the events. Witnesses report without questions from police. Eyewitness accounts are likely to be somewhat unreliable.

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Eyewitness Testimony: Psychological Aspects

Part of the Series : Applied Psychology
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $149.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $224.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $149.95



Eyewitness testimony remains one of the most important sources of evidence in criminal investigations. Even in cases where there is only eyewitness evidence, 75 percent result in a conviction. This three-section program weighs the reliability of eyewitness testimony and what this reveals about the nature of memory itself. It also examines the concept of schemas and the nature of constructive memory, illustrates the effect of leading questions and the planting of false information, and looks at three ways to improve eyewitness testimony: the cognitive interview, police reconstructions, and hypnosis. A part of the series Applied Psychology. (29 minutes)

Length: 29 minutes

Item#: BVL40127

ISBN: 978-1-60825-481-1

Copyright date: ©2001

Closed Captioned

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Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA and Canada.