The Power of Suggestion *
|Areas of Science||
|Time Required||Long (2-4 weeks)|
AbstractCan an authority figure make someone question their own memory? How reliable is eyewitness information? This project looks into these questions. You'll need a poster-sized image that includes many faces, and a volunteers to act as "eyewitnesses." The volunteers are tested individually. The instructions are that they have one minute to examine the poster, and then a fixed amount of time (e.g., 5 minutes) to write down brief, accurate descriptions of all the faces they can remember. They'll get points for each correct description. They will also be tested one day later, without seeing the poster again, to see how well they can retain the information after a time lapse. At the end of the first test session, the tester runs down their list, checking off correct descriptions, with the volunteer present. At some point during this process, the tester remarks, "Oh, you missed the . . ." and describes a face not in the poster. How many of the volunteers will include the non-existent face when they write their descriptions on the second day? (Gale, 2002)
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Last edit date: 2017-07-28
BibliographyGale, S., 2002. "The Power of Suggestion," California State Science Fair Project Abstract [accessed February 1, 2006] http://cssf.usc.edu/History/2002/Projects/J1706.pdf.
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