The Effects of Memory Conformity and the Cross-Race Effect in Eyewitness Memory

Hiran Perera W.A.

Abstract


The study investigates the malleability of the eyewitness memory by analyzing the effects of Memory Conformity and the Cross-Race Effect (CRE) among Asian ethnic groups. A controlled live crime enactment (snatch theft) was initiated in order to assess both variables. Two experiments were conducted using the same questionnaire with a total of 36 participants in a private university. Experiment 1 examined the effects of group conformity. After the live enactment and the filler task, participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: discuss in groups, or no discussion. All participants were given a questionnaire to complete individually. Experiment 2 examined the cross-race effect. Participants were informed to answer the questionnaire individually and the results were analyzed based on their racial backgrounds. No difference in memory accuracy was found between discussed and no discussed conditions in the experiment one. However, in experiment two a disparate racial identity effect was found opposing the past literature based on overall and specific scores. The conclusion was made based on the past research that supports the results. 


Keywords


eyewitness memory; memory conformity; cross-race effect; student population; live enactment

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