Discuss the Effects of Age on Eye Witness Testimony

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Discuss the effects of age on eye witness testimony

Yarmey et al found little difference in accuracy of age-related recall but a difference in confidence of recall. He got a young woman to stop people in the street and chat to them for 15 seconds. She did this with 651 participants of varying age the youngest group was 18-29, the second group was 30-44 whilst the eldest group was aged 45-65. Two minutes later the participants were stopped again and asked to recall the physical characteristics of the woman. All age groups performed similarly but younger age groups were significantly more confident in their recall.

Memon et al conducted an experiment with two age groups (16-33) and (60 to 82). When questioned 35 minutes after an event, age had little effect on accuracy of recall, however, a week later the older age group had declined significantly in their accuracy. This is because an elderly person has a deteriorated memory therefore suggesting that when interviewing elderly people after a certain period of time the information is distorted.

Parker and Carranza et al created a study to study this as well, this study aimed to compare primary and college students ability to correctly identify a certain individual after a sequence of a mock crime. In the photo identification test, children had the highest rate of choosing the photos however, they were most likely to make mistakes of identification than college students. This shows that children are not the most accurate eye witness’s.

The reasoning behind all of this is, is explained by the research of Anastasi and Rhodes. Anastasi and Rhodes performed an experiment in 2006 to see if recall is better when identifying people from the same age range (own age bias). They showed 24 photos to 3 age groups and then later they were shown 48 photos and had to identify the original 24. They found that generally the…...

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