Date of Award

Spring 6-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department/Program

Forensic Psychology

Language

English

First Advisor

Charles Stone

Second Reader

Deryn Strange

Third Advisor

Nikoleta Despodova

Abstract

This study examines whether unconscious processing of misleading post-event information can influence explicit and implicit eyewitness memory. Using the existing misinformation paradigm, false post-event information was presented to participants either under full or divided attention. Eyewitness memory was tested with both explicit (free recall and cued recall tests) and implicit memory tests (truth rating test). Participants who were misinformed under full attention recalled significantly more misinformation than their counterparts who were misinformed under divided attention and the control group. However, results from the truth rating test showed that both explicit and implicit forms of misinformation had no impact on implicit eyewitness memory. Since this study is the first to examine the effect of post-event information on implicit eyewitness memory, there is much room for improvement in the selection and design of the implicit memory test that is suitable for eyewitness setting. Other limitations and potential directions for future research are also discussed.

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