College Papers

Nandini Budhraja HSP3UO MR

Nandini Budhraja
HSP3UO
MR. Kerr
30 April 2018
Step 1: Culminating Literature Review

Original Study: Interaction Between Language and Memory (Loftus and Palmer 1974)
Citation(s)

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Loftus, E. F., & Palmer, J. C. (1974). Reconstruction of automobile destruction: An example of the interaction between language and memory. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior,13(5), 585-589. doi:10.1016/s0022-5371(74)80011-3

McLeod, S. (1970, January 01). Loftus and Palmer. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/loftus-palmer.html

Loftus and Palmer 1974: Memory & Eyewitness Testimony. (2017, April 14). Retrieved from https://www.psysci.co/loftus-and-palmer-1974/

Yogi, P. (2016, May 27). Eyewitness Testimony. Retrieved from http://psychyogi.org/loftus-and-palmer-1974-eyewitness-testimony/

Loftus and Palmer. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/document/172998841/Loftus-and-Palmer-article-pdf
Researchers: Loftus, Palmer
Loftus:
Elizabeth Loftus is an American Cognitive Psychologist and an expert on human memory, criminology law and society, as well as social behaviour. Her education is from University of California, Los Angeles, and Stanford University.
Biography:
Elizabeth Loftus was born on October 16, 1944, in Los Angeles, California, to Sidney and Rebecca Fishman. At the age of 14, her mother passed away in a drowning accident.
She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and psychology (1966). Then, she attended graduate school at Stanford University. Her career has proven several theories about the human mind and memory through the use of several studies and experiments.

Palmer: (no further information is available on John C Palmer)
B. S. in Psychology, 1976, University of Washington, Seattle WA
Ph. D. in Psychology, 1984, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Research and Teaching Interests:
Cognitive Psychology, especially Attention
Visual Perception, Visual Psychophysics and Visual Neuroscience

Concepts
Eyewitness Testimony: Used in court, relies heavily on witness’ memory
Loftus and co. started questioning the reliability of memory + how the court system trusts memory to be highly accurate

Bartlett’s Schema Theory: Memory can be influenced by previous knowledge
Wording of Questions: How the phrasing of questions can impact the response
Confabulation: The disturbance of memory and how it is fabricated, misinterpreted, changed etc…
Research Question: How can language distort the effects of memory in eyewitness testimony?
Hypothesis: Leading questions could affect recall in those asked to provide eyewitness testimony.
Research Methodology: Two experiments, both with an “independent measures” design
Experiment 1

Operational Definitions:
Sampling: 45 undergrad psych students of Loftus’ from UWash
Chosen through opportunity sampling (ppl who are available at the time of the study + fit the criteria)
Assignment: Equal amount of ppl asked for each verb in critical question, order of films diff. for every subject

IV: Verb used to describe the accident in critical question – “About how fast were the cars going when they ‘verb’ into each other?”, length of the videos of the crashes
Five different verbs used that vary in intensity
Smashed
Collided
Bumped
Hit
Contacted

DV: The participants’ estimate of the speed of the cars when they crashed
No control group as everyone was given a verb to test how it affects their answer (ie. They were all in the experimental group)
Data collection: Questionnaire asking them to describe + answer questions abt. the film
Experiment 2
Sampling: 150 undergrad psych students of Loftus’ from UWash
Assignment: Equal amount of ppl asked for each verb, random placement of the broken glass question in the list of 10 questions given one week after they were shown the film

IV: Verb used to describe the accident in critical question – “About how fast were the cars going when they ‘verb’ into each other?”, length of the videos of the crashes

DV: How the participants answered “Did you see any broken glass?” based on what verb they got (hypothesized that subjects who got “smashed” were more likely to say yes”

Control group: Group not questioned abt. car’s speed
Experimental group: 50 students asked w/ the verb “smashed,” 50 students asked w/ the verb “hit”

Data collection: Questionnaire asking them to describe + answer questions about the film
Findings and Conclusions:

If someone is exposed to new information during the interval from witnessing the event and having to recall it, the new information during questioning can have an impact on what they recall. In other words, original memory can be modified, changed or supplemented.

Experiment One:
The estimated speed was impacted by the verb used when questioning the participant. When the experimenter modified the verb, participants took it as an indication of how fast the car was going, which impacted their memory of the accident.

Experiment Two:
After adding more questions about broken glass to the experiment, people who were asked the question of how fast the car was going with the verb smashed were more likely to say yes to broken glass.
Discussion and Recommendations:
Low ecological validity: Study used laboratory experiments (videos of car crashes)
Doesn’t occur much in real life, participants’ awareness of study may have affected how they created memories
Good thing: conducted in a controlled environment and so shows a cause and effect relationship between the independent variable (the phrasing of the questions) and the dependent variables (the estimation of speed and the memory of broken glass). Another strength of the study is its replicability.

Discussion:
In the first experiment, if questions were phrased using more words such as ‘smashed’, people overestimated the speed that the cars were travelling at during an accident. If the participant was asked ‘how fast were the cars travelling when they smashed’ they approximately said that the cars were travelling approximately 41mph, compared to the lower estimate of 32mph with questions using the word ‘contacted’. In the second experiment, participants who were asked the question with the word ‘smashed’ were more likely to report seeing broken glass.

Two explanations by Loftus and Palmer:
‘Response bias factor’. The way the question was phrased influenced the person’s answer, making them overestimate the speed of the car as a result of the verb used. However, their memories of the event were not affected.

A person’s memory and perception of the event would actually change as a result of the question, and this false memory would be stored in their memory. This seems to have been confirmed by the second experiment, as the participants ‘remembered’ seeing broken glass, thus illustrating that leading questions can change the way an eyewitness remembers an event.

Implications:
The findings of Loftus and Palmer’s study could have consequences on the judiciary, police and criminal justice system.
An eyewitnesses reporting of an event, and in fact their memory of this event, could actually be changed by the way in which an interviewer phrase the questions, which could have a massive bearing on any criminal case.
This study also has implications for the way we communicate with others; if we want to get a truthful answer, we need to be wary of how we phrase a question.

Ethical Considerations:

Ethical because:
Participation was voluntary + students aware of what they were being shown
No harm was done
Identities were confidential
No deception
Data not manipulated, because it depends on the audience’s response

Related Study #1- Language and Memory for Object Location (Gudde, Coventry and Engelhardt 2016)
Researchers:
Harmen B.Gudde:
The School of Psychology, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Cognitive Psychology
Kenny R.Coventry:
The School of Psychology, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Cognitive Psychology
Paul E.Engelhardt:
The School of Psychology, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Cognitive Psychology

Concepts:
The influence of two types of language on memory for object location
Demonstratives (this, that) and Possessives (my, your)
Object location: Does the placement of an object relative to the viewer have an impact on attention span + memory of object
Spatial demonstratives: Terms such as this and that are among the most common across all languages. However, there are influential differences between languages + how demonstratives create space in the memory.
Possessives: How the words my and your impact the memory of an object/ object location
Peripersonal/extrapersonal space: Spatial demonstratives (e.g., this/that) are linked to the zones of memory and perceived memory such as near or far (peripersonal near and extra-personal far perceived space).

Research Questions:
Is there a difference between the Congruence and Expectation model?
Do spatial and demonstrative words have an impact on object memory?
Is the idea that mapping between spatial demonstratives and the vision and action systems universal?
Can language be used as a tool in a task to aid memory and/or processing of spatial information?

Hypothesis/Goal:
The language effects found (spatial demonstratives/possessives) are driven by a mechanism(s) and lead to (mis)memory.

Research Methodology: (Throughout the experiment, there was no control group as everybody was experimented on)
Three different experiments were conducted to understand if there were any differences in memory under the different circumstances of each experiment.
Experiment 1:
Goal was to test if spatial demonstratives (this, that) along with an object at impacted memory for object location.
Method:
An experiment was conducted on 36 native English speaking students, and in return for participation, they received a course credit or payment.
The data of four students was excluded due to errors in experimentation
Participants were asked to sit as close to a table as comfortable and then played a ‘memory game’ which they were told was testing memory for object location. The participant read out the instruction card, then memorizes the object location and finally instructs the experimenter to move the indication stick so it is aligned with where the edge of the object was.
IV: Instructions on the instruction card along with the demonstratives used (this, that)
DV: Where the participant remembered the object to be and the verbal indications they referred to from memory.
Stereoacuity: The smallest detectable depth difference that can be seen in binocular vision and was measured using the was measured using the Randot Stereotest (Stereo Optical Inc. Chicago, USA).

Memory displacement: The difference between recalled distance and actual distance was measured in cm.

Result: The use of the word “this” leads to more accurate object location memory than ‘that’.

Experiment 2:
This experiment measure the impact of possessives on spatial memory, as some studies show that ownership improves memory for objects + influences how people interact with them.
Method:
An experiment was conducted on 39 native English speaking students
Five of them were excluded due to errors in experimentation
Similar to Experiment 1, except the fact that the demonstratives were replaced with possessives (my, your; the the condition was retained).
IV: Instructions on the instruction card along with the demonstratives used (my, your)
DV: Where the participant remembered the object to be and the verbal indications they referred to from memory.
*The same operational definitions apply

Result: The largely noticeable impact shows that objects explained through the your condition were recalled as being farther away than my and the.

Experiment 3:
This experiment measured the influence of attention on spatial memory as previous studies show that a longer fixation time results in a more accurate memory.
Method:
An experiment was conducted on 19 native English speaking students with the same method as Experiment 1.
Three of them were excluded due to experimentation errors
The procedure was based on Experiments 1 and 2, but in this experiment, participants wore SMI eye-tracker glasses (30 Hz binocular eye tracking glasses). For this reason, 4 positions were used – two locations in peripersonal space and two in extrapersonal space
The results were the same as those of Experiment 1, in which that the this condition leads to a more accurate memory. The gaze data (attention/fixation) showed that there was no effect of attention on language recalled.

Attention/ Eye movement: The time period a participant gazed at the object as well as where they looked in general was measured using eye tracker glasses, which were calibrated 4 times during the experiment for each participant.

IV: The instruction cards + instructions, as well as the demonstratives used
DV: The recalled location of the object
Findings and Conclusions

The expectation model explains the difference between the demonstratives used (this, that) and the absolute memory error. The time the errors are lowest seem to be with ‘this’ and when the object is placed closest to the participant.
The congruence model shows the same relation. However, this time the use of the word ‘that’ relative to location has a different impact on the memory of the participants.

The y axis represents the difference between the actual location and the remembered location therefore a higher value means that the object was recalled at being farther away than its actual location.
Can language be used as a tool in a task to aid memory and/or processing of spatial information?
Peoples still do not know how language or a linguistic bias impacts memory.

Discussion and Recommendations
The results of all three experiments show that language affects memory for object location, with large impact of language common to all three studies. The use of both demonstrative and possessive words affects memory for object location.

Ethical Considerations
The study was ethical because:
Informed consent was provided as the students were aware that they were a part of an experiment as well as what the experiment entailed
No harm was done
Throughout the publication of the experiment as well as selection, data was anonymous and confidential
There was no deception throughout the experiment
The debrief was not mentioned in the paper about the study, however, assuming that since the participants were students of the researchers, and took classes from these researches, the debrief would occur due to educational purposes
Scientific integrity was maintained as any error in the collection of data was omitted and all other data was considered regardless of its support for the hypothesis

Related Study #2: Individual Differences in Working Memory Capacity Affect False Memories for Missing Aspects of Events (Gerrie and Maryanne 2006)
Researchers:
Matthew P. Gerrie and Maryanne Garry (Edu: University of Connecticut- Cognition and Instruction)
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Areas of Interest: False memories, Psychology and Law, Cognitive Psychology, E

Concepts:
Working Memory Capacity: An individual’s different mental constructs that reflect the limited capacity of their working memory.
Mechanisms of the DRM: In the DRM, participants are given a list of related words that all hint to one large idea/word. Afterwards, they are asked to correctly recall the words that were on the list and to distinguish between the words that are unseen or unrelated. The results show that many people falsely remember seeing the one large word related to all the others without it being actually present.
False Memory: How does the brain filter unpresent information and integrate it into memory
False Recognition
Misinformation Effect: When a person’s recall of episodic memories is less accurate because of provided post-event information.

Research Question:
Do doctored pictures impact memory?
How does the brain process the perceived most crucial information?
Which aspects of events are most to least crucial?

Hypothesis:
The brain/memory recalls present ideas and sets of events, however, it also filters them to be most to least crucial while recalling.

Research Methodology: (Throughout the experiment, there was no control group as everybody was tested on)
Study 1A:
A non participant structured observation was conducted by 44 students of the researchers (introductory psychology students participated as observers in return for course credit).
They were experimented on after other students conducted the observational study.
Method:
The students filmed a woman performing four everyday events to get ready for work: make a sandwich, make a cup of coffee, make the bed, and brush her teeth. Then, six people watched the video and listed the major steps in each event. The most commonly identified steps were taken to break the movie down into 48 clips which were separated by a black screen for one second.

After the clip was created from the observational study, the 44 students were given the task of identifying the nn-crucial events from the crucial ones.

Observational Definition:
Crucial vs Non-crucial: The participants’ ”crucialness” classificationsonas yes or we were taken and combined them with their confidence ratings on the scale of 1 to 5 to produce a new score. Ultimately, 13 crucial and 10 non crucial clips were derived.

IV: The 48 clips consisting of the woman’s actions
DV: What the students identified as crucial vs non crucial (independent ratings)

Then, from the collective rating that was obtained using the -5 to 5 scale, two different clips were created. One which only contained the clips of actions identified as crucial, and the other which only contained the clips of actions identified as non crucial. Out of the 48, nine were omitted due to inconsistent ratings.

Study 1B:
Primary aim of Study 1b is to examine the relationship between WMC (working memory capacity) and false memories for missing slides.
A total of 76 introductory psychology students participated in all phases of the study in return for course credit.
The sample was selected from 899 participants using a screening
2-8 weeks after the screening, a new experiment was made available to all participants. Participants who returned to complete the rest of the experiment were told that how people perceive and comprehend everyday events was being studied. There were two phases, a study phase and a test phase.
Study phase: Participants were randomly assigned to watch either the crucial present or the crucial absent version of the movie. Next, during a break time they did word puzzles for 20 minutes.
Test phase: After the word puzzles, they all did the same memory test.
In the test phase, the students were told that earlier they had seen a woman perform some tasks, and now they would see another video with tasks that they had seen before mixed with those they have not, and their job is to distinguish between the two. Then they will be asked how confident they are about seeing or not seeing that certain clip on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 means not at all confident and 5 means very confident.
IV: The three different videos shown: crucial, non crucial, and the test video which was a mix of the twi
DV: The independent results of each person; whether they remember seeing that certain clip as well as their confidence.
Findings and Conclusions:
The findings are summarized/ analysed in two different parts: One part analyses the memory of the participants, whether they correctly remember seeing the clips and the second part analyses their confidence.
Part 1: People were equally accurate at recognising old clips, regardless of their WMC, or the importance of the clips. Secondly, there is a connection between WMC and the false recognition of crucial information, but no connection present for the false recognition for non crucial information. (note that the WMC was obtained during the screening test done before the experiment, and those students who returned to participate in the experiment became the sample)
Also note that during the screening test, which consisted of memory based questions, people were identified as low spans (lower mark than 40 correct) or high spans (higher mark than 40 correct)
The questions of the screening test consisted of recalling basic information such as a set of letters
Part 2: The high spans were shown to be more confident than the low spans regardless of the importance of the clip (crucial or non crucial). People were also more confident of the already seen old clips for the crucial version of the movie.
Confidence vs False Recognition: A person’s WMC did not affect their confidence for true or false memories.Second, people were more confident of their true memories than of their false memories regardless whether the information was crucial or noncrucial.

Discussion and Recommendations:
The large answer derived from the results of the two different studies/experiments shows that yes there are certain people that can distinguish between false memories due to the fact that they were high spans and tested well during the screening stage of the process. Also, it is safe to conclude that the WMC had little to no impact to the memory of the participants. There are several external factors that play a part in recalling information correctly as the researchers discuss the will to do well, attention span etc… The studies implies that people remember and recall the characteristics of events differently.

Ethical Considerations:
This study was ethical because:
Consent was asked for since they were all students participating in the study/experiment for a grade and were aware that they were a part of this
No harm was caused during the experiment
During the publication of the experiment, all identities remained concealed
There was no deception throughout the experiment as they were told what was happening + why
The debrief was not mentioned in the paper about the study, however, assuming that since the participants were students of the researchers, and took classes from these researches, the debrief would occur due to educational purposes
There was no bias, or omission of data present, making it valid

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