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Major Assignment – Eyewitness Identification

Scenario: You are a defense attorney and an eyewitness to the crime in question has given testimony identifying your client as the culprit. Given what you know about effortful vs. automatic encoding, state-dependent and mood-congruent memory, interference, and the constructive nature of memory (including misinformation, imagination, and source amnesia effects), how would you challenge the validity and reliability of that eyewitness testimony? What arguments would you use to confront the witness in your cross-examination?

Step 1:. Read ONE of the following four research articles and summarize the article’s predictions (hypotheses), methods, and findings.

Step 2: Answer the questions in the Scenario above. Use the research article you’ve chosen, as well as material from the rest of this lesson, to support your conclusions.

Research Article #1: Misinformation Effect

Research Article #2: Flashbulb memories

Research Article #3: How accurate are our memories of 9/11?

Research Article #4: Eyewitness identification

Your brief summary and evaluation of the reliability of eyewitness testimony (integrating the above-mentioned issues) should be 2-3 pages (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point font). See the “More About the Eyewitness Identification Assignment” page and the “Eyewitness Identification APA Checklist” for more resources and information. Submit your write-up in the “Major Assignment – Eyewitness Identification” Assignment Tool.

Be sure to check the course Calendar for due dates.