Valentine and Mesout (2009) Contemporary study (Procedure (The…
Valentine and Mesout (2009) Contemporary study
To test the reliability of eyewitness testimonies in real life situations.
Sample = 56
Participants agreed to do a series of questionnaires in exchange for a reduced ticket price. They were unaware they were part of a psychological investigation.
Took place in London Dungeons. Participants encountered a 'scary' person within the labyrinth section. Each person was there for 7 minutes. Each person spent 45 minutes in the Dungeons.
High Ecological validity
At this point the experiments aim was explained and consent was given and withdrawal allowed.
State Anxiety Inventory- Anxiety within the Labyrinth
Memory Questionnaire- tested recall of scary person. Had to be identified from a series of 50 photographs. They were told he may not be present in the photos.
Trait Anxiety Inventory - general anxiety levels
State Anxiety Inventory- mean score was 49
Memory Questionnaire- Strong negative correlation between Sate Anxiety and ability to correctly identify the scary person.
Trait Anxiety Inventory- mean score was 36.8
Females experienced more anxiety than males
Median score for State Anxiety was 52. Only 17% of those who scored higher than 52 correctly identified the scary person. 75% of those with a score lower than the median correctly identified the scary person.
Eyewitness accounts are negatively effected by high anxiety conditions.
High psychological arousal impairs memory
The more stress experienced, the harder it becomes to identify the perpetrator