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False Memories and Forensic Psychology

I need help with the following:

Assess the strengths and limitations of an experimental design and quasi-experimental design.

Recommend a quantitative design for 'On False Memories' research. Include a rationale for why that design would be most appropriate.

For the designs that you did not choose, state why each one is not appropriate for your research questions, hypotheses, and variables.

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
Hello and thank you. For this, we just need to stick to guidelines and then look for a specific way of quantifying memory. A good example is this study -

It is quasi-experimental and looks into the utilization of CBCA - which is literally Criterion Based Content Analysis - a way of validating statements. If you are not familiar with it, don't worry. It is a specific instrument in forensic psychology to ascertain falsehoods. The question now would be - what specific quantitative research will you do? I suggest 'testing' the Loftus model on a selected group of people. It's easy and results can either support or not support the theory of Loftus and Pickrell. In the solution below, I have put together a discussion to get you started. You can also use the listed resources to further explore the topic. All the best with your studies.

AE 105878/Xenia Jones


Suggested Outline

1. Introduction - what is this about?
2. On the relevance and limitations of quasi-experimental studies
3. Theoretical Framework - here, discuss the LIM theory as well as the quantitative method you intend to utilize
4. Your research design - starts with your hypothesis, your participants, then explain how you will operationalise your study. I think it would be best if you present it in an itemized form
5. Purpose of your research, rationale and expected outcome


Research Proposal: False Memories


False memory as a syndrome (FMS) is not accepted as a mental health diagnosis although it is widely accepted that memories can be false in that memories can be altered through a host of factors and techniques resulting in a person strongly believing a particular factually incorrect memory to be true. False memory can result from recovered memory therapy - a specialist assisted range of psychotherapeutic method designed to recall memories of abuse previously lost or forgotten, and from mistaken identity wherein an action (most usually a crime), is attributed to the wrong person by a person suffering from conditions falling under the headline that is FMS. Human memory does not at all work like a video camera wherein all elements observed are completely captured - from people, to sound, to objects and ideas. Additionally, although certain elements are 'coded' into memory, they are coded because of their impact and their storage - the intensity of their impact and the length the strength of the memory can be 'stored' - is entirely dependent on a host of factors. Thus, memory is not always reliable. But can memory be false in that it can be implanted or altered through suggestions and confabulations? This study will attempt at investigating that.

Quasi-Experimental Research

What is quasi-experimental research? To understand this, it's best to discuss experimental research. In the social sciences, an experimental research design is seen as rigorous in that it is very much aware of keeping tabs on internal validity - the variables identified are studied so that a program or design undertaken can be studied comprehensively to approximate the truth with regards to causal inferences (cause and effect) so that whatever is under investigation can be observed as it relates to an outcome hypothesized which falls under the proposition - If X then Y (Trochim, 2006). An experimental design often takes on 2 'paths' which, in the social sciences, often mean two groups. One is a group wherein certain variables are ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) of putting together a quantitative research design on the topic of False Memories. Theoretical framework is suggested featuring the research of Loftus and Pickrell. An outline for such a research is also included. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.