Teacher notes—Chapter 13 Major idea



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Teacher notes—Chapter 13

Major idea

To develop an understanding of



  • Witnesses at a crime scene: what factors impact on how accurately they can remember what they saw?

  • Information must be accurately encoded to be able to be stored and recalled

  • Eyewitness testimony may be unreliable due to psychological factors and environmental factors

  • Types of memory: autobiographical memory and reconstructive memory

  • Recall of events may be influenced by misleading questions and retrieval cues

Sample lesson plans (4 lessons)

Lesson 1: Factors influencing eyewitness testimony

Time

Name and type of activity

Details

Comments

20 mins

Quiz: Bonnie and Clyde

Show students the movie Bonnie and Clyde, which stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway (You can keep to the bank robbery/getaway scene.)

Alternatively, you can adapt this activity/quiz to a different movie. The aim is to test students’ observational skills and eye for detail for eyewitness testimony, plus the concept of misleading questioning techniques.



Website activity 13.1

20 mins

Activity: How accurately can you identify details from a crime scene?

This activity follows on from the previous one, using the footage from Bonnie and Clyde to test students’ ability to describe the features of the ‘criminals’ Bonnie and Clyde.

• Individual student descriptions

• Share descriptions with a partner. Create a common profile. Are there differences in the way they saw it? Why?


Website activity 13.2

20 mins

Concept map: Factors influencing eyewitness testimony

Create a concept map showing factors discussed in this lesson (and others) that can influence eyewitness testimony.

Students can keep adding ideas to this concept map throughout this topic.







Lesson 2: Role of memory in eyewitness testimony

Time

Name and type of activity

Details

Comments

10 mins

Activity: Testing your memory!

This is a fun activity to highlight to students just how much detail escapes our attention even when we think we are familiar with a stimulus! (Investigate 13.1)

Investigate 13.1 (text p. 164)

Website activity 13.3



10 mins

Activity: Memory triggers—retrieval cues

Sometimes suggestion can trigger a memory you thought you had forgotten. Try these cues for retrieval. What can you remember?

(Investigate 13.2)



Investigate 13.2 (text p. 165)

10 mins

Flowchart: Stages of memory

Complete a flowchart that shows the relationship between encoding, storage and retrieval of memory. In the flowchart include key ideas for each stage. (Website activity 13.4)

Website activity 13.4

Text p. 164



15 mins

Activity: Context-dependent cues

This activity is a fun way for students to explore the concept of context-dependent cues to trigger memories. The concept can then be easily related to the use of context-dependent cues in eyewitness testimony. (Website activity 13.5)

Website activity 13.5

10 mins

Case study: Applying context-dependent memory

Read ‘A case of mistaken identity’ (Case study, text p. 166). Ask students to explain this scenario in terms of context-dependent memory.

Case study (text p. 166)




Homework task: Add further ideas to Concept map: Factors influencing eyewitness testimony








Lesson 3: Identification of suspects

Time

Name and type of activity

Details

Comments

10 mins

Activity: Can you pick the suspect?

Use the eyewitness description to pick the suspect out of the line-up. (Investigate 13.3). Discuss the differences between fair and biased line-ups. What makes a fair line-up?

Investigate 13.3 (text p. 169)

50 mins

Activity: Create your own police line-up

OR

Activity: Create your own ‘artistic impression’



Create a crime scene, an eyewitness description and a fair line-up for identification. (Investigate 13.4; Website activity 13.6)

Students are to create an ‘artistic impression’ of someone they know—either from memory, or of a partner. (Investigate 13.4; Website activity 13.7)



Investigate 13.4 (text p. 170) and Website activity 13.6

Investigate 13.4 (text p. 170) and

Website activity 13.7



Lesson 4: Evaluating research

Time

Name and type of activity

Details

Comments

30 mins

Evaluate research by Loftus (1979) or Loftus and Palmer (1974)

Students are to read the research by Loftus (1979) on text p. 167 or Loftus and Palmer (1974) on text p. 167. Complete details of research in evaluation of research.

Text p. 167

30 mins

Begin with a movie or TV show as a stimulus for discussion OR to write an essay on an element of eyewitness testimony. Continue over subsequent lesson/s.

For example, The Hurricane (true story of Rubin Carter; highlight inadequacies of eyewitness testimony for conviction).

Essay or debate: The inadequacies of eyewitness testimony led to Rubin Carter’s unjust conviction.






Sample ideas for assessment

Visual presentation: Concept map (as a summary of factors influencing eyewitness testimony)

Essay or debate: Suggested topic—The inadequacies of eyewitness testimony led to Rubin Carter’s unjust conviction (lesson 4)

Flowchart: Stages of memory (Website activity 13.4)

Visual presentation: Collage creating context-dependent cues for personal memories (Website activity 13.5)

Key terms and concepts

Autobiographical memory

Context-dependent cues

Environmental factors

Eyewitness testimony

Forensic psychology

Memory encoding

Memory retrieval

Memory storage

Misleading questions

Photo identification

Police line-ups

Psychological factors

Reconstructive memory

Retrieval cues

Supporting website activities

13.1 Eyewitness testimony: Bonnie and Clyde quiz

13.2 Eyewitness testimony: How accurately can you identify details from a crime scene?

13.3 Testing your memory!

13.4 Flowchart: Stages of memory

13.5 Eyewitness testimony: Context-dependent cues

13.6 Create your own police line-up

13.7 Create your own ‘artistic impression’

13.1 Eyewitness testimony: Bonnie and Clyde quiz

(Bank robbery and getaway scenes—approx. 5 mins viewing)

This activity uses a scene from Bonnie and Clyde, a classic movie starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. You may, alternatively, use a different movie and show a segment that contains a crime in action. The scene should be one that allows the students to pick up details as ‘eyewitnesses’ to the crime. The questions and activities would need to be suitably adapted. For full use of the quiz, the selected movie scene would need to include footage of moving vehicles (i.e. getaway vehicle/s).



Instructions

1 Play the movie segment from Bonnie and Clyde (scene 18, i.e. bank robbery and getaway scene); approx 5 mins viewing) at the start of the class. Tell the class that it is just a video to get them motivated and ready to learn.

2 Hand out the Bonnie and Clyde quiz. Note there are two surveys: one labelled ** and the other labelled ##. (They are identical except that Q10 is worded differently in each quiz: the words hit or smash are used to describe the car collision.) Give one version of the quiz to one half of the class and the other version to the other half of the class.

3 Correct the quiz. You may need to replay the video.

4 Analyse the data and discuss the previous findings. This could include the following as an introduction to concepts that could be covered in this unit:

a accuracy of real eyewitness identification

b attention to peripheral detail (e.g. Q5 and 7) often decreases as identification (e.g. Q2 and 8) increases

c leading questions

– Q10—Was there a difference between the average estimate of speed in the smash group versus the hit group? (‘Smash’ is the stronger word and more likely to lead to a higher speed estimate than will the word ‘hit’.) Refer to Loftus & Palmer (1974) study.

– Q11—How many people answered Q11? How confident are they of their answer? This is a misleading question as there is not a correct answer and such a question may reconstruct memory. (Students may strongly believe that there was an answer and alter their memory accordingly.) Refer to Loftus (1978) study, text pp. 167–8.

d reconstruction of memory

e police questioning techniques

f context- and state-dependent cues

g causes of forgetting.

5 Make sure the class is fully debriefed. Discuss why deception was necessary at the start of the lesson.

Quiz answers

The answers are as follows: 1D; 2A; 3A; 4B; 5A; 6B; 7A; 8B; 9C; 10? (smash/hit); 11 No correct answer.

The answers are the same for both quizzes, with the exception of Q10, which relies on the perception of speed based on the leading question.

Quiz: Bonnie and Clyde eyewitness testimony **

1 How many guns did the bank robbers hold up at the start of the robbery?

a one

b two


c three

d four


2 One of the male robbers was wearing a hat. Which of the following is the best description of the hat?

a white hat with a black band

b black hat with a white band

c tan hat

d black beret

3 Did the female robber have a gun?

a Yes: she held it in her right hand

b Yes: she held it in her left hand

c Yes: she kept it in her black bag throughout the robbery

d No


4 One shot was fired in the bank. What was hit?

a the bank robber’s (without the hat) hand

b the policeman’s hat

c the policeman’s gun

d the bank customer’s money (note) on the bench

5 What was hanging on the wall in the bank?

a a deer’s head

b a moose’s head

c a poster advertising the feature band for Saturday night

d a portrait of the founder of the bank

6 What colour tie was worn by the male robber without the hat?

a blue


b red

c green


d white

7 What colour dress was worn by the lady sitting near the door?

a blue

b red


c green

d black


8 Which of the following is the best description of the hair of the male robber without the hat?

a short, straight light brown hair

b short, curly light brown hair

c short, straight dark brown hair

d short, curly dark brown hair

9 What did one of the police cars hit when it sped out of control around the corner?

a a pole

b another police car

c a sign

d a fence

10 How fast was the police car going when it hit this item?

a 45 km/h

b 55 km/h

c 65 km/h

d 75 km/h

11 What jewellery was the female robber wearing?

a a fine gold necklace

b two thin gold bangles

c large gold sleeper earrings

d a fine gold ring



Quiz: Bonnie and Clyde eyewitness testimony ##

1 How many guns did the bank robbers hold up at the start of the robbery?

a one

b two


c three

d four


2 One of the male robbers was wearing a hat. Which of the following is the best description of the hat?

a white hat with a black band

b black hat with a white band

c tan hat

d black beret

3 Did the female robber have a gun?

a Yes: she held it in her right hand

b Yes: she held it in her left hand

c Yes: she kept it in her black bag throughout the robbery

d No


4 One shot was fired in the bank. What was hit?

a the bank robber’s (without the hat) hand

b the policeman’s hat

c the policeman’s gun

d the bank customer’s money (note) on the bench

5 What was hanging on the wall in the bank?

a a deer’s head

b a moose’s head

c a poster advertising the feature band for Saturday night

d a portrait of the founder of the bank

6 What colour tie was worn by the male robber without the hat?

a blue


b red

c green


d white

7 What colour dress was worn by the lady sitting near the door?

a blue

b red


c green

d black


8 Which of the following is the best description of the hair of the male robber without the hat?

a short straight light brown hair

b short curly light brown hair

c short straight dark brown hair

d short curly dark brown hair

9 What did one of the police cars hit when it sped out of control around the corner?

a a pole

b another police car

c a sign

d a fence

10 How fast was the police car going when it smashed into this item?

a 45 km/h

b 55 km/h

c 65 km/h

d 75 km/h

11 What jewellery was the female robber wearing?

a a fine gold necklace

b two thin gold bangles

c large gold sleeper earrings

d a fine gold ring

13.2 Eyewitness testimony: How accurately can you identify details from a crime scene?

This activity can follow on from the footage of Bonnie and Clyde.

1 After viewing the footage of the bank robbery in Bonnie and Clyde, inform the students that they have been witnesses to a crime. The police are relying on their testimony to identify the crooks.

2 Fill in as many details as possible in the table below.




Feature

Bonnie

Clyde

Height








Hair colour








Eye colour








Shape of nose








Hair description








Clothing








Shape of face








Unusual features







3 Share your profile with a partner to create a common profile.



Feature

Bonnie

Clyde

Height








Hair colour








Eye colour








Shape of nose








Hair description








Clothing








Shape of face








Unusual features







4 How accurate were individual profiles? Were shared profiles more accurate than individual ones?

5 Introduce weapon focus: how can it impact on what we pay attention to? (refer to text p. 167)

13.3 Testing your memory!



(Investigate 13.1, Oxford Psychology Year 10, text p. 164)

How accurate is your memory? This activity is a fun one that highlights to students just how much detail escapes our attention even when we think we are familiar with a stimulus!

Try these activities to test your memory for detail.

1 How well do you know Australian money?

a How many straight sides are there on a 50 cent coin?

b How many kangaroos are on a $1 coin?

c On a 50 cent coin is a kangaroo and an emu: which side of the coat of arms do each stand?

d Which coin carries the Southern Cross constellation?

2 Draw the logos of the following from memory: Telstra and ANZ bank.

3 Sketch the Australian flag.

4 How did you score? These are all items with which you are likely to be familiar. Why might most people score badly on a task such as this, even if the object is familiar?

13.4 Flowchart: Stages of memory

1 Complete a flowchart that shows the relationship between encoding, storage and retrieval of memory.

a Add the terms ‘encoding’, ‘storage’ and ‘retrieval’ to the appropriate boxes.

b Include key ideas relating to each stage of memory in your flowchart.

c Include key words next to each set of arrows to describe the relationship between each stage of memory.

Refer to Oxford Psychology Year 10, text p. 164 to assist in completing this flowchart.

↓↑



2 Some questions to think about:

a Why are there arrows heading in each direction between storage and retrieval of memory?

b Why is there only one arrow between encoding and storage?

c Where would autobiographical memory fit into this flowchart? Explain your answer.

13.5 Eyewitness testimony: Context-dependent cues

This activity is a fun way for students to explore the concept of context-dependent cues to trigger memories. The concept can then be related easily to the use of context-dependent cues in eyewitness testimony.


1 Present a range of different images that would be meaningful to students throughout their lifetime; for example, music groups, toys, TV shows, movies from the 1990s and early 2000s.

2 Discuss the effect of these images on memory. What memories do they trigger?

3 Relate this to context-dependent cues as memory triggers.

4 Students can then have fun with this activity and create a collage of images that create contextual cues for personal old memories; for example, family holidays, school friends, childhood friends, special pieces of school work, kinder paintings, childhood toys, music groups, TV shows, movies and favourite kids food.

5 Discuss: How many of these memories would not have been revisited without the cues? How accurate are our ‘revisited’ memories? Share them with family or friends: how similar are your memories?

6 Discuss: Why might the following scenario be the most effective for exam performance?



Wearing your school uniform, sitting the exam in the classroom in which you have learned the material, having your regular teacher supervise the exam.

What other situational factors may contribute to creating an effective context for recall?

13.6 Create your own police line-up

1 Create a ‘crime’ that has been committed by one person. Describe the crime scene, with details of what happened and when. Select a photograph (from a magazine or newspaper) of the ‘suspect’ of the crime.

2 Create an eyewitness description to fit your suspect, based on the photograph selected.

3 Create a ‘line-up’ for identification of the suspect, using the photograph of your suspect and a further five images from a magazine or newspaper. Ensure that you make it a fair and unbiased selection. Paste the images onto a sheet for your police line-up.

4 Test your line-up on other members of the class. Can they pick your suspect?

13.7 Create your own ‘artistic impression’

This is an activity for students to enjoy. They can have fun exploring just how difficult it can be to recall details as an eyewitness.

Choose one of the following activities.

1 a Think of a face you are familiar with: a famous face or someone
you know well.

b Create an ‘artistic impression’ by sketching the face from memory. Focus on details of features, such as face shape, and the shape and position of the eyes, mouth, nose, ears, eyebrows, chin, hairline and teeth.

c Compare your sketch to a photo or to the person in reality. How accurate are you? Can others identify your sketch?
OR
2 a Work with a partner. Sketch your partner’s face. Focus on the same
details.

b Can the rest of the class guess the identity? What features were the most influential in determining identity?



Oxford Psychology Year 10 ISBN 978 0 19 556879 0 © Oxford University Press Australia



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