Date of Conferral
Eyewitness testimony is critical in both criminal court and civil court, so determining the most reliable method to gain information from witnesses is imperative. Past research in this area has focused on false memory, assisted recall, stress, and event perception. A gap exists in the current literature regarding the best method to gain the most accuracy in recall. The purpose of this study was to evaluate free recall, cued recall, and recognition, in an attempt to examine the accuracy of eyewitness memory. The study utilized a quantitative design to assess the accuracy of eyewitness memory as measured by results on free-recall, cued recall, and recognition tests. The theoretical foundation for this study was the theory of information processing, which contends that information is processed in stages and combines visual cognition, memory, and memory recall; therefore, this theory applies to the study by helping determine the most accurate way for individuals to recall events. Introduction to Psychology students were shown a video, then asked to recall what they saw using either free recall, cued recall, or recognition. A one-way between-subjects analysis of variance was utilized to determine whether there were significant differences in the number of items recalled as a function of recall format. Results suggested that participants were more accurate with the utilization of recognition techniques for recall, as opposed to the free or cued-recall. The importance of evaluating effective methods to promote accurate eyewitness testimony is to advance forensic science. The implications for social change include the ability to have more effective methods to gain accurate eye-witness testimony, thereby assisting with proper outcomes during trials.