Reconstruction Of Automobile Destruction Analysis

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Loftus, E., & Palmer, J. (1974). Reconstruction of automobile destruction: An example of the interaction between language and memory. Journal Of Verbal Learning And Verbal Behavior, 13, 585-589. The article “Reconstruction of automobile destruction: An example of the interaction between language and memory” by Elizabeth F. Loftus and John C. Palmer was to investigate whether different verbs used to describe an automobile accidents would alter participants’ memory remembering the automobile accidents. The problem being adressed is how the different verbs could affect the witnesses’ memories. The research consists of two seperate experiments. For the Experiment I, each of 45 students were shown seven film of traffic accidents. The film …show more content…
There were five different types of questions with different verbs in the experiment and each with nine participants. For the Experiment II, a similar procedure was used whereby 150 student participants viewed a short multiple car accident films that lasted less than 1 min and the accident in the film lasted 4 seconds. The participants then had to describe the accident in their own words followed by a series of specific questions. There were three different types of questions. 50 of the participants were asked “How fast were the cars going when they hit each other?” 50 of the participants were asked “How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?” 50 others of the participants were not interrogated about the speed of the vehicles. One week later, the participants returned. Without viewing the film again, they had to answer a series of questions about the accident. The critical question was “Did you see any broken glass?”. There was in fact no broken glass in the film. The participants who received the …show more content…
The research was lacked of ecological validity due to it being very artificial since the accidents they saw were not a real-life accident. Videos do not have the same impact as witnessing a real-life accident. In real life, the witnesses will have the feelings like shock, anger, nervousness and these feelings could be so strong that they could let the witnesses to keep a strong memory about the accident. In videos, the participants would give less attention and less emotions since the feelings, sounds and smells are not the same as the real-life accident. However, this method did not breach the ethical guideline since there was no psychological harm done to any of the participants because they were only watching videos instead of being at the real-life accident

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