January 5, 2013 by Cara Flanagan.
Swedish psychologist Gunilla Fredin has found that children include fewer details in their eyewitness accounts than adults, but that what they do recall is as accurate. Participants in the study (Fredin, 2011) were children aged 8-9 and 12-13 plus a group of adults (undergraduate students). All participants watched a video of a man looking for his lost dog.
A week later participants were interviewed individually (free recall). The children were additionally given a questionnaire about the video. Finally, a further week later, all participants were shown their answers and asked to assess how confident they were about the accuracy of their statements.
In the free recall condition adults provided more responses than either of the child groups. In the group with younger children there were more participants who only provided correct recall statements in free recall than in the other groups. This suggests that the children are capable of accurate reporting when they are allowed to choose what to report.
December 10, 2008 by Cara Flanagan.
The London Dungeon offers you to chance to be transported back ‘to the darkest moments in the capital’s history … live actors, shows, two rides and interactive special effects ensure that you face your fears head on in this unique ninety minute experience.’ Two psychologists (Tim Valentine and Jan Mesout of Goldsmith’s College, University of London) had the great idea to utilise this experience as an opportunity to ethically test EWT in a stressful context.In the Labyrinth of the Lost a hooded actor jumps out on unsuspecting visitors, blocking their path – which offered the psychologists the opportunity to ask people, after they emerged from the labyrith, if they could identify the man from a set of photographs. In total they interviewed 56 people and found that those who reported feeling more anxious about the labyrinth experience were less accurate in their identification – 17% of high anxiety participants were correct compared with 75% of low anxiety participants. This demonstrates the negtive effects of anxiety on EWT.A separate investigation showed that self-reports of anxiety were positively correlated with physiological arousal in the labyrinth.