A study into objectivity in Garda observation and whether recollections are effected by post event information

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Downey, Brian
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of the current study was to examine whether trained Gardai are influenced by the phraseology of questions in comparison to untrained Student Gardai and how accurate Gardai recollections of an incident are and whether they are influenced by post event information. An independent sample design was used to examine the results from questionnaires completed by 72 randomly selected Garda participants, of which 43 were Student Gardai and 29 trained Gardai, under two conditions following the viewing of a video of a road traffic accident. The results indicate that there was a statistically significant difference in the estimation of speed by student Gardai under both conditions (t = 4.508, df = 41, P<.001, 2-tailed) and no statistical significant difference between the estimations by trained Gardai under the same conditions (t = 0.170, df = 25, P> .05,2-tailed) supporting the first experimental hypoFinal Year Project inferring that with training and experience Gardai are more objective and less influenced by phraseology. The results in relation to the second hypoFinal Year Project indicate that participants do recall significant details of an incident (x2 = 13.696; df = 1; P < 0.001), (x2 = 9.657; df = 1; P < 0.01) (x2 = 41.657; df = 1; P < 0.001) but only a 50% chance of recalling details following misleading post event information (x2 = 0.127; df= 1; P > 0.05).