Eyewitness Testimony

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 1996 - Law - 253 pages
5 Reviews

Every year hundreds of defendants are convicted on little more than the say-so of a fellow citizen. Although psychologists have suspected for decades that an eyewitness can be highly unreliable, new evidence leaves no doubt that juries vastly overestimate the credibility of eyewitness accounts. It is a problem that the courts have yet to solve or face squarely.

In Eyewitness Testimony, Elizabeth Loftus makes the psychological case against the eyewitness. Beginning with the basics of eyewitness fallibility, such as poor viewing conditions, brief exposure, and stress, Loftus moves to more subtle factors, such as expectations, biases, and personal stereotypes, all of which can intervene to create erroneous reports. Loftus also shows that eyewitness memory is chronically inaccurate in surprising ways. An ingenious series of experiments reveals that memory can be radically altered by the way an eyewitness is questioned after the fact. New memories can be implanted and old ones unconsciously altered under interrogation.

These results have important implications for court reform, police interrogation methods, defense strategy, and many other aspects of criminal and civil procedure. Eyewitness Testimony is a powerful book that should be required reading for trial lawyers, social psychologists, and anyone who considers the chilling prospect of confronting an eyewitness accusation in a court of law.

  

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Review: Eyewitness Testimony

User Review  - Kim - Goodreads

Fascinating - something every trial attorney would find fascinating Read full review

Review: Eyewitness Testimony

User Review  - Jessi - Goodreads

I read this book when I was in college for a class and was amazed at how the mind see what it wants to see and everyones perception of 1 event varies. Read full review

Contents

Mistaken Identification
1
Impact of Eyewitness Testimony
8
Perceiving Events
20
Retaining Information in Memory
52
Retrieving Information from Memory
88
Theoretical Issues in the Study of
110
Recognizing People
134
Individual Differences in Eyewitness IBS Ability
153
Common Beliefs about Eyewitness
171
The Eyewitness and the Legal System
178
People v
204
Appendix
217
References
237
Index
249
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Elizabeth F. Loftus is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior at the Univesrity of California, Irvine.

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