Psychology / Concerns As A Juror
Concerns As A Juror
Autor: dog1017 09 October 2011
Words: 834 | Pages: 4
Concerns as a juror
Eyewitness testimonies used to be a process that was very reliable, as well true. This process allowed jurors to base their conviction mainly on what the witness says. Recent studies though have proven that this method is not 100% accurate. The way it should work is that if an eyewitness testimony were to be of any value, then it absolutely must be accurate. The issue is that there are several psychologists that believe it is impossible for such a thing to be accurate due to the way our memory works. When we use our memory, we simply reconstruct past events. People have a tendency to change the order of events so they can fit into a situation which reflects their own personal experiences. Therefore, should we allow jurors to solely base a conviction based on an eye witness testimony if that is all they have as proof?
Elizabeth Loftus is a well known researcher in eyewitness testimony. In the mid-seventies she preformed several experiments to demonstrate the effect of a third party's introducing false facts into memory. The participants viewed a presentation of a car accident. After having seen the short presentation, some subjects were asked a simple question, "how fast were the cars going when they hit into each other." A separate group of subjects were asked the same question, except Loftus used the term "...when they smashed into each other." The participants who were questioned with the word "smashed" were more likely to report that there was broken glass when they viewed the presentation. There was no glass on the floor, thus concluding that Loftus showed how the participants are able to be influenced by events which can be misleading, but she also demonstrated that the use of different language affected a testimony.
We as humans can’t be expected to remember things accurately after a crime has just happened. We are put in a horrific situation where we tend to remember the negative thi...