Procedure- All the participants were shown the seven film clips and were given a questionnaire to complete after each clip. There were two parts to each questionnaire. First, they were asked to give an account of the accident they had just seen, and second, to answer a set of questions relating to the accident. Of the questions asked, the one the researchers were interested in was about the speed of the vehicles at the time of the accident. In order to counteract order effects, the groups were presented with a different order of films. The entire experiment lasted about an hour and a half. The independent variable was manipulated by changing the wording of the critical question about the speed of vehicles at the time of the accident, using a different verb in the question. The authors theorised that the stronger the verb, the higher the speed estimate would be. The standard format of the critical question was: 'About how fast were the cars going when they xxxx each other?' There were five verb conditions: 'contacted', 'hit', 'bumped', 'collided' and 'smashed'. Each subject received one of the five critical questions in their questionnaires. This means that the independent variable in this experiment was in which verb condition the participant was tested. The dependant variable was the mean speed estimate in miles per hour per condition, thus giving a quantitative measure.