Eyewitness Memory

An eyewitness memory is a person's episodic memory for a crime or other dramatic event that he or she has witnessed. Eyewitness testimony is often relied upon in the judicial system. However, the accuracy of eyewitness memories is sometimes questioned because there are many factors that can act during encoding and retrieval of the witnessed event which may adversely affect the creation and maintenance of the memory for the event. Experts have found evidence to suggest that eyewitness memory is volatile. It has long been speculated that mistaken eyewitness identification plays a major role in the wrongful conviction of innocent individuals. A growing body of research now supports this speculation, indicating that mistaken eyewitness identification is responsible for more convictions of the innocent than all other factors combined. The Innocence Project determined that 75% of the 239 DNA exoneration cases had occurred due to inaccurate eyewitness testimony. It is important to inform the public about the flawed nature of eyewitness memory and the difficulties relating to its use in the criminal justice system so that eyewitness accounts are not viewed as the absolute truth.

Read more about Eyewitness MemoryChild Testimony, Intellectual Ability and Testimony, Photographic Memory (Eidetic Memory)

Other articles related to "eyewitness memory, eyewitness, memory":

Eyewitness Memory - Photographic Memory (Eidetic Memory)
... particular use in courtrooms when acting as an eyewitness, as they have the ability to hold to an image in mind for longer and with more accuracy than ... that eidetic imagery is not exactly related to memory and improves recall for visual details ... If this is true, photographic memory is not particularly useful in the courtroom, which could explain the general failure to detect its existence in adults ...
Weapon Focus
... Weapon focus is a factor affecting the reliability of eyewitness testimony ... less attention for other details in the scene and leading to memory impairments later for those other details ... According to a 2001 survey of eyewitness experts, 87% found the effect sufficiently reliable to form the basis of expert testimony in criminal trials ...
Eyewitness Identification - Causes of Eyewitness Error - "Estimator Variables" (Circumstantial Factors) - Rapid Decline of Eyewitness Memory
... It is thought that memory degrades over time, some researchers state that the rate at which eyewitness memory declines is swift, and the drop-off is sharp, in contrast to the ... The "forgetting curve" of eyewitness memory has been shown to be "Ebbinghausian" in nature it begins to drop off sharply within 20 minutes following the initial encoding, and continues to do so exponentially until ... And as noted above, eyewitness memory is increasingly susceptible to contamination as time passes ...

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