- Freud - False memory is due to repressionPeople who experience intense emotional and anxiety-provoking events may use defence mechanisms such as repression, to preotect their conscious self from knowing things that they cannot cope with. however, these emmories will continue to haunt them in symbolic form until retrieved using specific techniques. These techniques can create false memories, which people consequently believe to be true.
- Loftus 2002 - False memory is due to post eventsA case of a sniper who killed a number of people, the witnesses thought they had seen a white van, when it was actually dark green. Apparently a bystander mentioned a white van in an interview, after this everyone reported a white van. According to loftus a false memory had been created by the post even information
- Bartlett (1932) memory is reconstructiveBartlett argued that memory is reconstructive and that schema influence recall.
- War of the gost's story experiment, asked participants to read through story twice and reproduce the story from memory.
Result - The native american story was difficult for people from western culture due to its unfamiliar style and content. the story became shorter, however the remaining story became more conventional. people reconstruct the past by trying to fit it into existing schemas
- Loftus (1974) eye witness testimonyThe nature of questions can influence witness' testimony.
- Aim - to see if changing one work in a certain questions would influence speed estimates for a car crash.
Method - asked to observe a film of traffic accidents and asked to estimate the speed of the car in the film. different word choices for the question were used, including "smashed" "hit" or "contacted"
Result - The result shows that the speed estimated for smashed was significantly higher then when the question uses the word contacted.
Method 2 - a week later the perticipants were tested again, researchers wanted to know if the memory was changed when it was retrieved. it is found that when asked if there was a broken glass in the film, about 32% of the "smashed" group said there was compared to the 14% of the "contacted" group. The research concluded that the different words had an effect on the estimation of speed as well as the perception of consequences.
- Yuille and Cutshall (1986)Critisize loftus' eye witness testimony for its lack of ecological validity. they use loftus's technique in interviewing people who hat witnessed a real robbery and found that misleading questions did not seem to distort people's memory, also, those who were distressed by the situation had the most accurate memories.