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The Influence of Anxiety Level, Eye-Movement and Type of Information on an Eyewitness’ Memory of a Crime.

Blunsdon, Chloe (2017) The Influence of Anxiety Level, Eye-Movement and Type of Information on an Eyewitness’ Memory of a Crime. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Eyewitness testimony is widely used as evidence in court (Weber and Brewer, 2008) However, many factors that influence a witness’ memory of a crime means that the credibility is questionable, which can have huge repercussions on the conviction of criminals (Albright, 2017). Examples of those factors include a person’s level of anxiety (Easterbrook, 1959) and eye movement (van den Hout and Engelhard, 2012) at the crime scene. This study aims to look at level of anxiety, eye movement and the type of information and their influence on eyewitness memory, by investigating the number of correctly answered central and peripheral questions in high and low anxiety level groups, and horizontal, vertical and none eye movement groups. The study used an opportunity sample of 30 people between the ages of 18 – 50. Two mixed ANOVA’s revealed a non-significant interaction between the level of anxiety and the correctly answered central and peripheral questions relating to the crime. Subsequently, there was a non-significant interaction between the type of eye movement and the correctly answered central and peripheral questions. The findings are discussed with relation to future research.

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