The cognitive procedures of memory can be divided into three phases the encryption, the storage, and the retrieval of memory. When an person encounters an object, a individual, or an event, s/he encodes the information received from these into the cognitive system. The encoding procedure is influenced by a assortment of factors ( such as age, race, clip ECT ) that in bend determine the truth of the individual ‘s memory. After encoding the information, the individual shops it in one ‘s memory until needed for future mentions. Several retrievals of episodes may change and replace the original memory and therefore may diminish its truth. This information-processing theoretical account of memory can be used for explicating and understanding the truth of eyewitness memory. The truth of eyewitness memory at the clip of offense, in the encryption and storage phases, can be influenced by the features of the informant, the traits of the culprit, and the properties of the event of offense ( Leyva, Malpass, Meissner, Pruss, Rigoni, Ross, Topp, Tredoux, & A ; Zimmerman, 2005 ) .

Features of the informant

Such features include the race, ethnicity, gender, age, business, assurance, intelligence, and temper of the informant and whether the informant is under the influence of intoxicant and/or drugs during the offense.

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To day of the month there are no important surveies to demo that a peculiar race, or ethnicity is more accurate in memory procedures ( Wells & A ; Olson, 2003 ) . The same can be argued for gender, in fact harmonizing to Powers, Andriks, & A ; Loftus ( 1979 ) although males and females tend to retrieve different inside informations, the degree of truth is equal. In add-on, although in 1938, Howells discovered that there is a connexion between face acknowledgment truth and intelligence, more recent surveies such as that of Brown, Deffenbacher, and Sturgill ( 1977 ) found no nexus.

However, this may be due to the fact that whilst, Howells experimented with low intelligence people, Brown et Al. used smarter people as their sample of research. There is besides no difference between the truth of informants who are jurisprudence enforcement officers and those who are non professionals. However, officers tend to supply better descriptions of the offense due to the nature of their work ( Leyva et al. , 2005 ) .On the other manus the truth of eyewitness memory is dependent on the age of the informant. This explains why kids and the aged are less likely to retrieve accurate inside informations of a offense since their memory is non adept as that of the grownups. Young kids that have non yet reached their early teens have a limited memory callback and public presentation when compared to grownups and immature grownups, although there is no important difference in the proportion of right information they recall ( Leyva et al.

, 2005 ) . Similarly, old people are more likely to do inaccurate designations of suspects since they tend to hold lower measure and quality of memory callback ( Searcy, Bartlett, Memon, & A ; Swanson, 2001 ) .Accuracy is besides capable to the assurance of the eyewitness. In fact, this is shown by surveies that use the standardization method to mensurate the degree of assurance in people, and to compare groups of people with different assurance degrees to their truth ( Brewer, Keast, & A ; Rishworth, 2002 ; Brewer & A ; Wells, 2006 ; Cutler & A ; Penrod, 1989 ; Juslin, Olsson, & A ; Winman, 1996 ; Weber & A ; Brewer, 2003, 2004 ) . For illustration Juslin et Al.

( 1996 ) , utilizing such a method found out that the higher the degree of assurance of a individual, the higher the truth. However, other surveies show that the relationship between these two is weak ( Sporer, Penrod, Read, & A ; Cutler, 1995 ) .Alcohol and drugs may besides act upon the truth of eyewitness memory, nevertheless different surveies show varied consequences. Some research shows that the nexus between intoxicant and truth is mostly reliant on the poisoning degrees at the clip of offense, that is, the higher the degree of intoxicant in the blood, the lower the truth degrees. This is chiefly because intoxicant ( and drugs ) alters the perceptual experience of people, which affect their capableness to encode and hive away information ( White, 2003 ) . Contrarily, Yuille, Tollestrup, Marxsen, Porter, & A ; Herve ( 1998 ) found out that drugs like marihuanas have really small influence on memory callback truth and consequence memory storage merely temporarily.The temper of the informant may besides find the degree of truth of the memory of offense.

Having a negative temper may better memory procedures, since when a individual is in a bad temper, s/he is more likely to be watchful than when in a good temper ( Schwartz & A ; Bless, 1991, as cited in Forgas, Laham, and Vargas, 2005 ) . Furthermore, it could besides be due to the fact that cognitive attempt is higher when seeking to mend negative tempers, so when seeking to keep a good temper ( Clark & A ; Isen, 1982 ) . On the other manus, Forgas, Laham, and Vargas ( 2004 ) argue that people in a negative temper are more prone to false dismaies.

Properties of the event of offense

The features of the event itself can act upon the truth of the memory of the eyewitness. Such factors include the continuance of exposure to the event, the sing distance and the visibleness between the culprit and the informant, the lighting conditions of the topographic point, the emphasis and fright suffered by the informant during the offense, concentrating on the arm, and the cognition that one is witnessing a offense ( Leyva et al. , 2005 ) .The longer one is exposed to the offense state of affairs, the higher is the possibility of retrieving clearly and accurately the event.

However, an optimum screening clip that identifies the needful clip to retrieve something accurately, does non be, since it extremely depends on the individual and his/her attending and involvement in the incident ( Leyva et al. , 2005 ) . The attending extremely depends on how long the eyewitness takes to gain that s/he is witnessing a offense ( Wells & A ; Olson, 2003 ) . In fact harmonizing to Leippe, Wells, & A ; Ostrom ( 1978 ) , many informants realise they have witnessed a offense after the wrongdoer flees the offense scene, even though they sometimes view the perpetrator for a important sum of clip.Weapon focal point can take to another factor that can impact the truth of memory: emphasis and rousing. In fact, the presence of arms can do a individual witnessing a offense to go stressed, and full of rousing and fright, and this consequences in a narrowing of attending with a loss of fringy inside informations ( Christianson, 1992 ) .

Whilst some surveies show that high degrees of force addition the opportunity of emphasis and rousing ( Clifford & A ; Hollin, 1981 ) , other surveies found no nexus between these ( Cutler, Penrod, & A ; Martens, 1987b ) . Possibly the most important survey on this affair is that of Deffenbacher ( 1983 ) , which came up with the Yerkes-Dodson Law. This jurisprudence tries to explicate how an addition in arousal improves public presentation up to a certain optimal point, when this critical point is passed, memory public presentation lessenings ( McLeod, 2009 ) .

AAnother factor that influences the attending of the eyewitness is whether a arm is used in the offense or non. Surveies show that when a arm is used in the committee of a offense, the informants tend to concentrate their attending on the arm and therefore make non take as much notice of other of import inside informations such as the face of the culprit and the features of the offense ( Steblay, 1992 ; Brain, 2002 ) . This is largely done because the informants may be afraid that the arm will be used against them, and therefore at the clip of offense it is perceived as the chief menace. This consequence of arm focal point does non merely occur when the informant is the victim, but besides when the informant is non under direct menace from the arm ( Leyva et al. , 2005 ) .

Accuracy of memory storage and encoding depends on the screening distance and visibleness of the informant. Visibility improves as the sing distance lessenings, and with good lighting and conditions conditions ( Wells & A ; Olson, 2003 ) . Consequently, during the forenoon and in an lighted topographic point, the informant is able to see the offense event better and more clearly and therefore increase the sum of information available for encoding. However, one of import point to maintain in head is that there are no dependable estimations of illuming and sing distances that can be used as a footing for measuring the truth of the eyewitness ( Leyva et al. , 2005 ) .

Traits of the culprit

Besides being affected by features of the eyewitness her/himself, and by the properties of the offense event, memory truth can besides depend on culprits ‘ traits. Such traits involve camouflages used by the perpetrator, whether the wrongdoer has a typical characteristic that can easy be remembered, whether the race and gender of the culprit are similar to those of the informant, and acquaintance between the eyewitness and the suspect ( Leyva et al. , 2005 ) .

It is rather common for people to do usage of camouflages when prosecuting in condemnable Acts of the Apostless. This makes it easier for the wrongdoer to acquire off from the offense scene without being identified. On the other manus, camouflages make it more hard for the eyewitnesses to memorize characteristics of the felon ( Cutler, Penrod, & A ; Martens, 1987a, 1987b ; McKelvie, 1988 ; Patterson & A ; Baddeley, 1977 ) . Disguises may include guardant masks, stockings, chapeaus, dark glassess and goons: all used to cover the hair and hairline of the culprit. In fact surveies show that the “ upper parts of the face, [ caput form, hairline, eyes, superciliums, and nose ] tend to lend to successful acknowledgment ” ( Leyva et al.

, 2005, pp. 4 ) .Although have oning camouflages decreases the possibility of the designation of the perpetrator, certain typical characteristics of the wrongdoer that are easy noticed and memorised, can assist in recognizing the culprit in the hereafter. In fact, it is more hard to place “ typical ” facial characteristics, than for illustration faces with a stick outing mentum or nevus ( Leyva et al. , 2005 ) . Furthermore, tattoos and body piercings may besides be utile to assist the eyewitness memorise and subsequently place the perpetrator more accurately ( Wells & A ; Olson, 2003 ) .

Highly attractive or unattractive people are besides easier to memorize than mean looking individuals ( Fleishman, Buckley, Klosinsky, Smith, & A ; Tuck, 1976 ) .Evidence shows that people tend to recognize faces of their ain race or ethnicity instead than those of other races/ ethnicities. This is better known as the “ Cross Race Effect, ” the “ Own Race Bias ” or the “ Other-Race Consequence ” ( Michel, Rossion, Han, Chung, & A ; Caldara, 2006 ) .

However, there is no grounds that shows that any peculiar ethnicity or race is able to accurately place another racial or cultural group, although exposure to such other “ groups ” may better the designation ( Leyva et al. , 2005 ) . This possibly explains why people find it easier to memorize other individuals of their ain race/ethnicity. Harmonizing to Leyva et Al. ( 2005, pp. 5 ) , acquaintance plays a strong function in the acknowledgment of faces.

” In fact, it is easier to retrieve a individual that one knows that one who is a complete alien.


All calculator variables ( properties of the informant, event, and culprit ) that are present at the clip of offense may all act upon the truth of eyewitness memory. As explained by assorted surveies eyewitness memory is extremely dependent on the age, business, assurance, intelligence, and temper of the informant. Furthermore, being under the influence of drugs and/or intoxicant may besides consequence perceptual experience and as a consequence the sum of accurate item about the offense event that is encoded by the informant. The conditions of the offenses such as the continuance of exposure to the event, the sing distance between the culprit and the informant, the lighting conditions of the topographic point, the emphasis and fright suffered by the informant during the offense, may all impact memory truth. Besides this camouflages and arms used by the perpetrator and when the race of the culprit is different to that of the informant, memory truth is likely to diminish.

On the other manus, when the wrongdoer has a typical characteristic that can easy be remembered, and acquaintance between the eyewitness and the suspect can all ease memory encoding as storage ( Leyva et al. , 2005 ) .