The forensic witness role and the effects of misinformation and suggestion

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Howard, Daragh
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The aim of the research presented here was to determine whether individuals in an experimental group who were called upon to fulfil the role of forensic witnesses were more likely to engage in crime recording behaviour than individuals in a control group who were not assigned to this role. A between-groups design was used to carry out the procedure. The independent variable was the application of suggestion and misinformation in the experimental group. The procedure used a combination of verbal and visual stimuli including Power Point Slides and a 15 second film clip. The participants were 46 part-time psychology students. There were 23 participants in each group. Statistical analysis showed that no significant difference in crime recording behaviour was observed between the experimental and control groups. Although there was no significant result, it was concluded that there was no compelling reason to abandon the main hypothesis. Further research directions were indicated. Author keywords: Forensic psychology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, misinformation effect, suggestion