Starter activity Think and make notes in pairs about the following two questions: • How do you think “Age” may affect the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. • What age group in particular do you think we will look at in particular when considering the recall accuracy in EWT?
Learning objectives • To consider research into the role of age as a factor of influencing the accuracy of EWT. (AO1) • To critically assess this research including the “the own age bias” theory of age as a factor that influences EWT. (AO2)
Age differences in accuracy • Using the worksheet labelled “Factors affecting EWT”: • Read the first page and highlight/underline important points. • Using the A3 sheet handed to you, create a spider diagram using all of the information. • When writing about Parker & carranza (1989) leave a space as we will be going through a further critique of this study for you to put in under this research. • For a 12 mark question, 6 of these marks will be AO1 and you will need to know three studies for this. Therefore all of the information on this sheet will be required for this type of question. • You have 20 minutes to do this. • There will be a test at the end.
Factors affecting EWT quiz. • Close all textbooks/ turn over worksheets. • Label 1-10 on a piece of blank A4 paper. • There will be ten questions to answer. • This is to be done individually and in silence. • Good luck!
1. • All three studies look at what factor? • (AGE!)
2. • Why is age an important factor to consider when looking at the accuracy of EWT? • (more children are present in the courtroom)
3. • ………… studied the accuracy of young (16-33) and older (60-82) eyewitnesses and looked at the difference of recall after a delay. (MEMON et AL)
4. • These researchers demonstrate that children’s eyewitness accounts are not as accurate as adults. • (PARKER + Carranza)
5. • …………… found that young and middle aged participants were more accurate at recall of target faces compared to older participants. • (ANASTASI and RHODES)
6. • This study demonstrated that older witnesses are not as accurate as younger witnesses.
7. • …………… found that all age groups were more accurate at identifying photographs from their own age group. • (A & R)
8. • This study demonstrated that age does play a role in the accuracy of EWT, specifically when the identification task is delayed 1 week or over.
9. • …….. Found that during the photo identification task, child witnesses had a higher rate of choosing “somebody” than adult witnesses.
10. • Why are all these studies natural experiments? • (as the IV (age) varies naturally)
Quiz questions • All three studies look at what factor? • Why is age an important factor to consider when looking at the accuracy of EWT? • ………… studied the accuracy of young (16-33) and older (60-82) eyewitnesses and looked at the difference of recall after a delay. • These researchers demonstrate that children’s eyewitness accounts are not as accurate as adults. • …………… found that young and middle aged participants were more accurate at recall of target faces compared to older participants.
Quiz Questions • This study demonstrated that older witnesses are not as accurate as younger witnesses. • …………… found that all age groups were more accurate at identifying photographs from their own age group. • This study demonstrated that age does play a role in the accuracy of EWT, specifically when the identification task is delayed 1 week or over. • …….. Found that during the photo identification task, child witnesses had a higher rate of choosing “somebody” than adult witnesses. • Why are all these studies natural experiments?
Evaluation of the studies: • Parker and Carranza critique: Yarmey (1993) used 651 adults, and asked them to recall a young woman that they had just seen 2 minutes ago… They found that young and middle adults were more confident in recall than older (65+). However there was no significant differences in accuracy. • Memon et al (2003) critique: Most Studies used faces of young people to recall for both older and younger participants. What is the issue with this? College Participants may have superior memory for faces in their own age group.
The Own-Age Bias • The Own-age bias illustrates the methodological problems with most photo identification type of research. • Most of these photos are college-aged photos. • Therefore this has huge implications on whoever the target participant group is.
Therefore the own age- bias says: • People are more likely to recognise photos of those in the same age group as themselves.
The Own-Age bias Support • Anastasi & Rhodes (2006) • Used three groups 18-25, 35-45, 55-78 • Rated 24 photo (representing the 3 groups) for attractiveness • Then were given a recognition task from 48 photos
Findings: • Young and middle aged participants were significantly more accurate. • ALL age groups were better at their own age group.
Why?? • This research fits in with similar research which focuses on race (own race bias) • Brigham and Malpass (1985) explained it in terms of the “differential experience hypothesis”- the more contact we have with a particular group the better our memory is for those individuals.- what can we link this back to?
As we encounter more people of our own age we become an expert at processing their faces. (more sensitivity to specific cues) • Support comes from the own-race bias. • We are better at recognising people from our own race.
Evaluation • Individual differences: Research has shown that the accuracy of EWT may be compromised by anxiety, age or misleading information but what about.. Alcohol?? • Clifasefi et al (2006) compared mildly intoxicated Ps with sober Ps. • 82% of the intoxicated Ps (compared to 46%) had not noticed that someone dressed in a gorilla suit had slowly walked across the screen while they were watching a video of students throwing a basketball to each other. • This can be explained by alcohol myopia (Steele and Josephs, 1990) – the more intoxicated a person becomes, less attention they can allocate to peripheral tasks. • What does this show? That other factors come into play not just age, anxiety and misleading information.
Further evaluation • As all these studies are natural experiments as age varies naturally, we cannot say that this is cause and effect. • However, despite there being controversy as to what age effects the accuracy of EWT there does appear to be supportive evidence to suggest there is a relationship between age and accuracy of recall as shown by the own age bias.
Essay plan • Using the essay plan provided which outlines how you should answer the 12 mark question: • Bullet point what you will write about for each box. • You can use your notes. • You have 15 minutes to do this. • After the 15 minutes you will be answering this question in timed silent exam conditions so make sure you write enough!
Exam question (6 marks) • Describe what research has shown about the effect of the age of witnesses on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. (6 marks) • January 2010 exam paper.