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NCJ Number: 121551 Find in a Library
Title: Eyewitness Identification: Simulating the "Weapon Effect"
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:13  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1989)  Pages:397-408
Author(s): A Maass; G Kohnken
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 12
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The effect of weapons on eyewitness recall and recognition was examined using a new experimental paradigm in which a syringe served as a weapon simulation.
Abstract: In contrast to previous research using slides or films of armed individuals, this study involved the physical presence of an individual with or without a syringe. The study participants were 86 nonpsychology students at the University of Kiel in West Germany. They were told that the experiment would focus on the relationship between sport-related physical activity and psychological well-being. Each was asked to sit and wear a monitoring device in a room equipped with physiological measurement devices. An experimenter entered the room holding either a syringe or a pen and either threatening or not threatening to administer an injection. Exposure to the syringe greatly decreased the recognition of there experimenter in a lineup, while enhancing the accuracy of recall for cues relating to the experimenter's hand. In addition, contrary to predictions, the threat of injection was not found to interact with the syringe manipulation. Finally, greater accuracy of recall for facial details was associated with lower fear of injections and greater cognitive abilities. Table and 18 references. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Suspect identification
Index Term(s): Eyewitness testimony; Facial Recognition/Recall; Germany; Weapons
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