An investigation of weapon focus : the influence of schema roles on children's and adults' eyewitness memory

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dc.contributor.advisor Pickel, Kerri L. en_US Lenhardt, Thomas T. en_US 2011-06-03T19:40:44Z 2011-06-03T19:40:44Z 2005 en_US 2005
dc.identifier LD2489.Z72 2005 .L46 en_US
dc.description.abstract Previous research on the weapon focus effect indicates that schematic knowledge plays a large role in adult witnesses' ability to recall details of a crime. This study investigated whether the weapon focus effect would be found in young children (4- and 5- year-olds), whose schemas are less developed than those of adults. An experiment was conducted in which adults and children viewed a videotape depicting a male target stealing money from a woman's purse. In the four conditions, the target's apparent occupation and the objects that he held were manipulated, so that only one condition depicted a schema inconsistency between his occupation and the object. After watching the videotape, the participants were interviewed for details regarding the target's physical appearance and the object. As predicted, the schema inconsistency resulted in decreased recall accuracy for both children and adults. These results suggest that the weapon focus effect can be generalized to young children and that their eyewitness accounts are similar to those of adults. Additionally, adults recalled a significantly greater number of details than did the children, which was also predicted. It was interesting and unexpected to find that overall. adults recalled significantly more accurate descriptions than the children. This finding was contradictory to the results of some previous studies on eyewitness memory.
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Psychological Science
dc.format.extent v, 31 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Eyewitness identification. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Child witnesses -- Psychology. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Schemas (Psychology) in children. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Witnesses -- Psychology. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Schemas (Psychology) en_US
dc.title An investigation of weapon focus : the influence of schema roles on children's and adults' eyewitness memory en_US Thesis (M.A.)
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Master's Theses [5510]
    Master's theses submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University master's degree candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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