Eye Witness by Jamie Rhoten

The Misinformation Effect is when a person will incorporate information that is not correct into their memory after witnessing an event after being misguided by some form of information pertaining to the event.

This can be seen in the way that police do a suspect line up. Eye witnesses of a crime will often look at pictures or a line up of suspects. If the real suspect is not present, many will choose a false criminal and misinform the police. This is because they will incorporate or “mix up” their memories to match the pictures of the suspects that they were shown.

This example of students who witnessed a “criminal” stealing the purse demonstrated the misinformation effect. They were shown incorrect suspects and they incorporated false information into their memories about the looks of the “criminal”. As stated by one student, “I would have put the wrong man in jail”. This shows how powerful our memories can be deceived after being shown incorrect information and incorporating that misleading information info our memories. Because of the Misinformation Effect I am not so sure that I trust eye witnesses anymore.

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