(Medical Xpress)—An innovative research replication initiative has generated results that have important implications for eyewitness memory. The project confirms earlier findings that asking witnesses to provide a verbal description of a suspect can impair their ability to select that suspect from a lineup—the so-called “verbal overshadowing” effect.
"Any individual study provides only a noisy estimate of the actual size of an effect," says Daniel J. Simons, Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and editor of this RRR. "By conducting multiple, independent replications, it is possible both to measure that effect accurately and to test whether it is stable across laboratories."
In the original study, published in 1990 by Schooler and Engstler-Schooler, participants viewed a video of a simulated bank robbery and were then asked to write a description of the robber or to generate a list of US states and their capitals. The results showed that participants who described the robber were less likely to pick him out of a subsequent lineup than were those who listed states and capitals.
This verbal overshadowing effect has theoretical implications for our understanding of memory interference, and it also has practical implications for procedures related to eyewitness testimony.
Doctor Who bank notes featuring David Tennant
The show’s art department created these £10 and £20 pound notes for a scene shot in the 2006 Doctor Who Christmas Special called “Runaway Bride.” In the scene the Doctor creates a diversion by causing an ATM to malfunction with his sonic screwdriver. As the ATM spits out a bunch of cash, a crowd rushes over to grab the money. This is what the cash looked like, featuring the faces of actor Tennant and producer Phil Collinson.
UNITED KINGDOM, Edinburgh : Piper Ryan Randall leads a pro-Scottish independence rally in the suburbs of Edinburgh on September 18, 2014, during Scotland’s independence referendum. Scotland is voting on Thursday in an independence referendum that could break up the centuries-old United Kingdom and create Europe’s newest state since the collapse of Yugoslavia.AFP PHOTO/LESLEY MARTIN