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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 123297 Find in a Library
Title: Weapon Focus, Arousal, and Eyewitness Memory: Attention Must be Paid
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:14  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1990)  Pages:167-184
Author(s): T H Kramer; R Buckhout; P Eugenio
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 18
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Weapon focus refers to the decreased ability to give an accurate description of the perpetrator of a crime by an eyewitness because of attention to a weapon present during a crime.
Abstract: In the first experiment, subjects viewed a mock crime scene in which a weapon was either highly visible or mostly hidden from view. Subjects in the highly visible weapon group recalled significantly less feature information. Overall, memory accuracy scores were negatively correlated with self-reported arousal. The second series of experiments tested the weapon focus effect in a nonemotional situation in which the "time in view" of both the weapon and the individual's face were manipulated. A series of six slides were used in which either the weapon or the face was not in view for specific intervals within the sequence. The weapon focus effect was found to occur within a nonarousing, environmentally stark setting and was dependent on the percentage of time the weapon was visible. 2 figures, 1 table, 35 references. (Author abstract)
Main Term(s): Suspect identification; Witnesses
Index Term(s): Facial Recognition/Recall; Weapons
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