Loftus and Palmer Reconstruction PSYCHOLOGY SL ENGLISH gwn745 006047-0035 Word Count: 1482 Table of Contents?Abstract 3Introduction 4Method 6Design 6Participants 6Materials 7Procedure 7Results 8Discussion 10Appendices 11Appendix I – Consent Forms 11Appendix II: Loftus and Palmer Experiment Questionnaire 1 11Appendix III: Loftus and Palmer Experiment Questionnaire 2 12Appendix IV: Debriefing Letter 13Appendix V: Raw Data Table 14Appendix VI: Calculations: 15Appendix VII: Script 15? AbstractThis investigation explores the interaction between the reconstruction of memory and language. The aim of the study is to investigate whether the use of leading questions would affect estimate of speed and thus reconstruct memory. The method of this investigation is to have 24 participants watch a video of two cars colliding and then give two questionnaires describing the collision with the words “smashed” and “bumped” respectively. My hypothesis is that the questionnaire with “smashed” as the adverb of the crash would yield higher estimates of speed.

This research was conducted with high schoolers between the ages of 16 and 18 at a high school in Eastern Asia. The results of the study were that participants with the questionnaire using “smashed” had higher estimates. The conclusion of the study was that words have a distinct effect on testimony in regards to recollecting memory. IntroductionCognitive Psychology is the study of human behavior with the assumption that the mind and cognitive processes affect our agency in the world. Cognitive psychology is important to the study of behavior, because mental representations can guide behavior and this principle allows us to examine and evaluate exactly how the human decision making process works and allows us to make scientific predictions about future decisions and behavior. The study of reconstructive memory is important because it allows us to examine whether memory can be affected or reconstructed. This information is useful in many ways such as psychological treatment of shock victims.

 Loftus and Palmer contributed to the study of reconstructive memory through their 1974 study by proving that simple words can affect testimony. The aim of the research was to investigate whether the use of leading questions would affect estimate of speed and thus reconstruct memory. The researchers predicted that using words such as ‘smashed’ would raise the estimated speed over words like ‘hit’. Loftus and Palmer used independent samples from 45 students to examine reconstructive memory.  They found that the mean estimates of speed was highest in the ‘smashed’ condition, suggesting that the memory of the event was reconstructed after being exposed to the word ‘smashed’. The aim of the replicated experiment is to see if specific word choice words have any effect on estimation of speed and memory reconstruction. The replication of the experiment will be done in a similar environment with two classes of approximately 20 students each rather than 45 students split in 5 groups. Each class will be shone a video and then will be given one of two questionnaire forms respectively.

 The first form will be a questionnaire asking for estimation of speed of the video when the cars ‘bumped’, the second form will replace ‘bumped’ with ‘smashed’. The purpose of the two questionnaires is to let us keep the results of the two groups separate and simplifies the data collection. The candidates will also be asked in both questionnaires to list whether their estimation was in kilometers per hour, or miles per hour to negate differences caused by students being exposed to both the metric and imperial systems. My hypothesis is that class presented with the form using the verb ‘smashed’ to describe the collision will have a higher estimated speed. This is because the clip of the crashes will be too short for the subjects to accurately estimate the speed and the word ‘smashed’ will raise the speed of the subject’s mental representation of the accident. MethodDesignThe design of my experiment is independent sampling because viewing responses from others could influence responses outside of the experimenters’ control.

My operationalized independent variables are the verbs used. My operationalized dependent variables were the estimates of speed in a series of car crashes in kilometers per hour. The participants were given consent form describing the mental and physical requirements of the study (Appendix I). Subject who agreed signed the forms and were debriefed after the experiment on their part in the study and the purpose.  The subjects were allowed to stop the experiment and/or withdraw at any time and could request to see the results of the study. ParticipantsThe target population was high school students from a high school in East Asia. Opportunity sampling was used as there were two periods available for testing and had access to two classes.

 The number of participants was 24. The participants were aged between 16 and 18. The participants were split among two classes into designated groups 1 and 2. MaterialsInformed consent form (Appendix I)Instruction script (Appendix VII)Questionnaire form ‘1’ (bumped) (Appendix II)Questionnaire form ‘2’ (smashed) (Appendix III)Procedurei) Preparing the room Prepare video of car crash montage Prepare questionnaire formsii) Experiment:Hand out consent form and ask for volunteers. Collect signed consent forms.Invite the participants to sit down and ask if the screen in the room is clearly visible. Read the instruction script (Appendix VII) to participants. Play the video.

Distribute questionnaire form ‘1’ for group 1 and ask participants to fill out the form and submit it. Check that all volunteers submitted forms.Give debriefing forms to participants.Repeat steps 1-6 for group 2 but replace questionnaire ‘1’ with form ‘2’.ResultsTable of the results showing the difference in speed estimations between the groups given the words “smashed” and “bumped”OrderQuestionnaire 1 (km/h)Questionnaire 2 (km/h)116.130225403304043040540.250650507606086070972.

480.51072.4901180901290100Questionnaires (version 1 and 2) Number of ParticipantsAverage Speed (km/h)Standard Deviation Using word smashed1261.722.7 (2) Using word         bumped 1252.

222.9Speed Estimated from Collision (Km/h) The mean speed of collision for smashed was 61.7 km/h, while for bumped is was 52.2 km/h. Thus the use of the word smashed yielded higher results in terms of estimation of speed and the hypothesis of the study is accepted. The standard deviations of 22.

7 for Questionnaire 1 and 22.9 for Questionnaire 2 were calculated to demonstrate the dispersion around the mean value and because it is the best measure of dispersion used with the mean. The numbers were not rounded to whole numbers because it is possible to have partial of 1 kilometer per hour and the mean number was used because it best demonstrated the effect of the test by directly comparing the results while taking into account outliers and mis-estimates. Lastly, the data was organized ordinally for better visual representation of the trend in estimates. DiscussionThe experimenters found that the results of the study supported the hypothesis.

Like Loftus and Palmer’s 1974 study, it was found that memory could be reconstructed by using specific words such as “smashed” versus “bumped”. We found that there were two types of information recalled during the experiment. The first set of information was taken from the video, the second set was given by external information after the video.

The second set, specifically the words “smashed” and “bumped”, were the main influence on the reconstruction of memory as it was integrated with the previous set of information. This is evident by the elevated estimates of speed in the second form. We found that the mean results of the estimates of speed for “smashed” were greater the mean results for “bumped”. This suggests that the specific use of a critical verb influences the recall of memory. Some limitations were that most of the participants had not driven before, which meant that the estimates were not based off real-world experience and were most likely uneducated guesses. Another limitation was that some participants had difficulty differentiating between ‘miles per hour’ and ‘kilometers per hour’, which meant some estimates were dramatically higher than others.

One modification to help this might be providing speed conversion. Another limitation was the groups did not clearly follow instructions and talked and shared throughout the experiment, which may have distracted some participants. In the future, stricter regulations and well as clearer instruction in a more formal setting might help with this discipline issue.  Lastly, many of the participants had either seen or administered the experiment before, this was due to the required age group of participant over the age of 16, this meant that the participants had time to revisit their estimation or they might have even known the speed.A couple other modifications would be having two groups clearly separated by questionnaire, by seating them at separate tables, whereas in this example the groups were mixed and poorly controlled, which may have influenced results.

The biggest modification we would make is the presentation of the video, instead of presenting it individually, I would project it on screen to ensure that all participants are presented it at the same time in the same manner.Further research could investigate the role of age in estimations of speed, how adolescents with developing frontal lobes, the brain processing center, react versus mature adult estimations. Another possible addition would be the role of sound, with one group watching the video with sound, and the other without, to see if the audio effects results. In conclusion, the word “smashed” provided higher average speed estimates for a car collision than the word “bumped”.

AppendicesAppendix I – Consent FormsLoftus and Palmer Consent FormI give informed consent to participate in this research , based on the following conditions:The nature of the project is informed to meInformation/data referring to my identity will be confidentialMy name will not be identified with the reason of anonymity I will not be demeaned or experience stress in any way during this research Once all the data is collected, I will have the opportunity to learn the results from the experiment once all data has been analyzed.Please PRINT your name:                                                .  Your age :                         .Signature of Student :                                                        .     Date:                         .

If student is under age 16Print Parent/Guardian Name:                                                .Signature of Parent/Guardian :                                                . Appendix II: Loftus and Palmer Experiment Questionnaire 1 Name: Date:Personal InformationFull Name (First, middle, last)Date of Birth (year, month, date)Gender (Female or Male)Passport Nationality Please circle one that applies:Do you drive?Yes                    No Which unit are you more familiar with?Yes                    NoDo you think you have watched the video carefully?Yes                    NoComplete the questions below:Describe what you saw in the video.How fast were the cars going when they bumped into each other? Please provide an estimated number.In what unit did you write your answer in question 5. Please circle one. Km/h       or        Mi/h Appendix III: Loftus and Palmer Experiment Questionnaire 2Name: Date:Personal InformationFull Name (First, middle, last)Date of Birth (year, month, date)Gender (Female or Male)Passport Nationality Please circle one that applies:Do you drive?Yes                    NoWhich unit are you more familiar with?Kph                    MphDo you think you have watched the video carefully?Yes                    NoComplete the questions in the space provided:Describe what you saw in the video.

How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other? Please provide an estimated number.In what speed unit did you write your answer in question 5. Please circle one. Km/h       or        Mi/hWould you like to see the results of the study? Yes NoAppendix IV: Debriefing Letter The experiment, Loftus and Palmer’s Schema Processing, that you have participated in has been concluded. The experiment that you have participated was a replication of Loftus and Palmer’s cognitive experiment in 1932. The aim of this replicated experiment was to see if specific word choice words have any effect on estimation of speed and memory reconstruction.

The participants were split into two groups and got 2 different types questionnaires. One group answered a question with ” smashed” whereas the other group answered a question with “bumped”. The leading question was “how fast did the cars               , into each other”. The results show …………………………………. As a conclusion …………………………………… We would like to thank you for your cooperation. Also, if you have any concerns please contact the contacts below;chinlamjoyce.

[email protected]@[email protected]

orgAppendix V: Raw Data TableQuestionnaire 1 “Bumped”Questionnaire 2 “Smashed”Km/hMphConverted Km/hKm/hMphConverted Km/h30304040252570704572.440404572.4303060605080.58080404050505050606090901016.150509090909030301001002540.26060Appendix VI: Calculations:Average estimate speed for “Bumped”Average estimate speed for “Smashed”Formula: Sum of all the estimated speeds from “converted Km/h”# of Answers30+25+72.4+72.4+60+80+50+60+16.

1+90+30+40.2 12= 52.2 Km/hFormula:Sum of all the estimated speeds from “converted Km/h”# of Answers40+70+40+30+80.5+40+50+90+50+90+100+6012= 61.7 Km/hStandard Deviation for “Bumped” Standard Deviation for “Smashed”x = 22.

9x = 22.7Appendix VII: ScriptHello, our names are names, today we will be conducting a psychology experiment. Please make sure there are no items on your desks before we proceed and please refrain from speaking or distracting your neighbor. (Add aims methods)Before you, you should have consent forms regarding your role in the experiment and the purpose of this experiment. Please read over the form and sign it at the bottom if you wish to participate in this experiment.

If you have any questions please ask them now. Thank you for agreeing to participate in our study, we will now ask you to watch a shot montage of car crashes. Please pay close attention to the video and please remain silent.*play video* You have all been given a questionnaire form.

Please proceed to fill it out and continue to refrain from making any form of communication with your neighbors. Look up and put your pens down when you are finished. Please hand in your forms.

Thank you for participating in our study, the study which we replicated is called the Loftus and Palmer study (1974). The debriefing form will be sent to your emails in 48 hours. *answer questions*Thank you again for participating. ReferencesCognitive and Linguisitice Sciences has moved. (n.d.).

Retrieved from http://www.cog.brown.

edu/McLeod, S. (1970, January 01). Saul McLeod. Retrieved from

(2011, July 02). Loftus and Palmer Replication Crash Footage. Retrieved from


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