I need an explanation for this Psychology question to help me study.


Article 1: Eyewitness Memory is More Reliable than You Think (Links to an external site.)

Article 2: How Reliable is Eyewitness Testimony? (Links to an external site.)

For your paper, answer the following:

  1. Based on what you read in the articles and the textbook, do you think that eyewitness testimony is reliable?  Make sure to explain your position.
  2. Connect what you read to the text.  Identify two concepts from the text that would help explain differences in eyewitness accuracy and explain in what way these concepts would affect memory.
  3. Based on what you have read and your own thoughts, do you think that providing juries with explicit instructions about the potential for eyewitness errors is warranted.  Make sure to explain why or why not.


Based on the articles and the textbook, the reliability of eyewitness testimony is a complex issue that depends on various factors. While eyewitnesses can be accurate, they are also susceptible to errors, such as memory distortions, biases, and suggestibility. Hence, the reliability of eyewitness testimony varies depending on the situation, the witness, and the type of information being recalled.

Two concepts that can help explain differences in eyewitness accuracy are source monitoring and schema theory. Source monitoring refers to the ability to distinguish between real and imagined events or the sources of information, which can affect the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. Schema theory suggests that memory is influenced by pre-existing knowledge and expectations, which can bias recall and lead to errors in eyewitness testimony.

Providing juries with explicit instructions about the potential for eyewitness errors is warranted because it can help them assess the reliability of eyewitness testimony and make informed decisions. Juries often place undue weight on eyewitness testimony and may overlook the potential for errors or biases. Therefore, providing instructions on the limitations and potential for error can help ensure that eyewitness testimony is evaluated more critically and accurately.

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