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False Memory in Court cases

You are considered to be an expert in false memories, and a local district attorney has therefore requested your expertise on the following case: See Attachment. The district attorney has asked that you create a presentation about false memory and explain how it might influence this case. He asks that you specifically address the following:

1. Describe false memory and false memory experiments, special distractors, and normal distractors.

2. Describe at least one research study from a peer-reviewed journal that investigated how eyewitness memory can be affected by false memories.

3. Explain how false memory might influence this particular case. Use specifics from the description of the case, and research to support your answer.

4. Using evidence from the case, and outside research, justify why eyewitness testimonies should or should not carry weight in criminal proceedings.

5. Discuss any procedures which can increase or reduce the occurrence of false memories when reporting eyewitness events.

6. I have to present this as a legal case and I need to help the jury understand false memory and how it might influence the eyewitness testimony of this case.

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Solution Preview

1. False memory experiments show there are notable cases of false identity, suggestibility that lead to false memories. Some distractors to consider are the speed of event that passed. Sometimes in events that occurred in a "flash" or matter of seconds, our own biases can lead to false memories. As well, when questioning occurs a few days after the event, subject is likely to be more suggestible as their memory becomes less clear. Thus, to appear as a credible witness , the subject may be very suggestible. As well, children, elderly are vulnerable to suggestibility. They tend to want to give answers to please the investigator.
Another distractor is trauma- heightened emotions leads to false memories, and ...

Solution Summary

false memory in court cases and how it impacts eyewitness accounts