Cognitive psychology talks about the
functions and the structure of the human mind in which it can be conceptualized
by several different processes such as; perception, thinking, language, problem
solving, attention, and memory. Memory is the term given to the structures and processes involved in
the storage and subsequent retrieval of information. Memory definition by
psychologist with reference(https://www.simplypsychology.org/memory.html)
It is impossible to learn something new if we
did not have memory, therefore, memory is very essential for our daily
lives. A renowned psychologist Bartlett
says that people reconstruct the past by trying to fit it into existing
schemas. Cognitive schemas are defined as a network of knowledge, beliefs, and
expectations about particular aspects of the world. The reconstructive nature
of memory add in details that were not a part of the original event.
Researchers of eyewitness testimony, Loftus and Palmer have supported Bartlett’s theory that memory
is reconstructive. In their study, their aim was to showcase that certain misleading
questions can distort and eyewitness’s memory. Details of the study
I chose to replicate this study as it was
fascinating to learn that we as human beings cannot completely rely on memory,
due to the fact that it is reconstructive. My aim is to investigate the effect
of post event information on memory.
My research hypothesis is that the estimated
speed would be significantly higher when the verb “smashed” is used than when
the verb “hit” is used.
The design used for this study was
independent sample design.
This design makes use of 2 different groups
It was selected in order to avoid
participants getting bored or tired with the experiment. Also with this design
it is less likely for participants to guess the hypothesis of the study. The independent variable was the verb in the
leading question used i.e. either “smashed” or “hit” and dependent variable was
the estimated speed.
The participants gave their written consent
and all the ethical guidelines were followed.
The target population were students of Amity
Global School Gurgaon, India. A sample of 20 participants were selected through
opportunity sampling as it was convenient and less time consuming. They were
from the grades 11 and 12 and ranged within the age groups of 16-18 years. Since the participants are studying in an International
school, they are multicultural and multilingual.
Letter of Consent
20 sheets of paper containing the questions
Video clip taken from a youtube link
20 participants were separated into 2 different groups, each with 10
participants. Each group was called inside a room and were shown the video of a
car crash. After watching the video, they were given slips of paper with two
questions about the video. One of the questions was the independent variable
with the verb either “hit” or “smashed”. Once the participants answered the
questions the slips of paper were collected back. They were reminded of their
right to withdraw from the experiment if they wanted to. Finally, all the
participants were thanked for their cooperation and were debriefed about the
1: Depicting the mean value and SD of the estimated speeds of the two groups.
“Hit” group Speed Estimate
“Smashed” group Speed
mean of all the results for the estimation of speed for “hit” was 58.8 and 79.4
for “smashed”. The results for standard deviation for the “hit” group was
20.384 and for the “smashed” group is was 15.785.
1: Depicting the variation of results from the misleading questions on the
speed estimation of the car accident.