Police Eyewitness

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An eyewitness is considered to be a valuable asset for police officers who are involved in solving crimes in order to protect the community and convict those who are in the wrong. An eyewitness is a person who has either seen a crime or has some sort of knowledge of the wrong doing and can be a victim or bystander. When the police begin to question the witness, the accuracy of the answers will depend on the clarity of the memory, and the ability to recall and retrieve the memory. In order to understand eyewitnesses and their reliability when it comes to identifying a perpetrator, we must study memory which falls under the umbrella of cognitive psychology.

In the process of memory, there are three stages which are; …show more content…

We are only aware of it when some sort of attention is directed towards it in the processing of transferring information to the short term memory. In order for the processing to occur in the short term memory, any stimulus must first be registered to be selected/ If the sensory information is not at tented to, it is lost quickly usually within seconds. Sensory information is tired into two sub systems called sensory registers. Within this, where are two types of memory called iconic memory and echoic memory. Iconic memory is all information that is held in the visual sensory register and lasts for 0.2-0.4 seconds and echoic memory is information held in the auditory sensory register, lasting for 3-4 seconds. Furthermore, the sensory register acts as a filter to keep out irrelevant and unimportant information that could clutter our sensory …show more content…

In this effect, witnesses are likely to recall details about the weapon, but less likely to remember other details such as the description of the perpetrator. This obviously affects the reliability of the eyewitness as they pay less attention to other important details of the crime scene. it is suggested that because the weapon diverts the attention of the witness, details can not be recalled. The witness may also feel emotional stress such as anxiousness which can once again affect the ability to remember certain details and therefore influence the eyewitnesses ability to identify a

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