The US legal system places a lot of importance on eyewitness memory. Most people would report that they can accurately convey what they saw in a particular situation. However, these ideas are not supported by research. Instead, research shows that memory is quite malleable and is affected by many factors. This research repeatedly demonstrates that people do not remember exactly what they experienced. This module’s experiment will show you firsthand how memory for events is not always one hundred percent accurate.

Access the CogLab demonstration False Memory. Follow the instructions to complete the demonstration to familiarize yourself with false memory. Then locate at least one research study from a peer-reviewed journal that examined how eyewitness memory can be affected by false memories.

Based on your research, respond to the following situation:

You are considered to be an expert in false memories, and a local district attorney has therefore requested your expertise on the following case:

On Tuesday, March 6, 2007, a bank was robbed in Slidell, LA. It was just after opening time, 9:04 a.m., and there were barely any customers, when a car arrived and parked in the side parking lot of the bank. Two men came out of the car and walked to the entrance. Both wore dark clothing. Upon entering the bank, they held out guns and asked for the manager. When the manager identified herself, the smaller of the two robbers ordered her to open the safe. Meanwhile, the other robber, a tall, and burley man, walked around holding his gun in his outstretched arm, and threatening the remaining employees and customers. The manager complied and the smaller robber collected all the money and valuables from the safe. After five minutes, the big robber asked if his companion was ready to go. When he was, the two ran back to their car, and drove away.

The district attorney has asked that you create a presentation about false memory and explain how it might influence this case. He asks that you specifically address the following:

  • Describe false memory and false memory experiments. Use the CogLab experiment to illustrate false memory experiments, special distracters, and normal distracters.
  • Describe at least one research study from a peer-reviewed journal that investigated how eyewitness memory can be affected by false memories.
  • Explain how false memory might influence this particular case. Use specifics from the description of the case, the CogLab experiment, and research to support your answer.
  • Using evidence from the case, the CogLab experiment, and outside research, justify why eyewitness testimonies should or should not carry weight in criminal proceedings.
  • Discuss any procedures which can increase or reduce the occurrence of false memories when reporting eyewitness events.

Remember, your presentation is designed to help the jury understand false memory and how it might influence the eyewitness testimony of this case. You will have ten minutes to present.

Since this is a legal case, you must include formally written slide notes (proper grammar, proper paragraphs, APA formatting, and academic tone) with research to support your claims. The presentation will be a legal document in this case, so make it worthy of being legally binding!

Develop an 5–6-slide presentation in PowerPoint format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

 

Assignment 1: LASA 2: Generating a Policy Proposal

Although some states and cities have passed laws to ban texting and using handheld phones while driving, there is no current law to ban all cell phone use while driving. However, according to the National Safety Council (2009), 28 percent of all crashes—1.6 million per year—are caused by cell phone use and texting by drivers. The mission of a new national nonprofit organization called FocusDriven, patterned after Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is to make phone use while driving as illegal and socially unacceptable as drunk driving. US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood supports FocusDriven and its efforts: According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, LaHood said this movement will become “an army of people traveling the countryside” to push for bans on cell phone use and tough enforcement (Schmit, 2010).

As a political advocate interested in this issue, you will be writing a policy proposal that utilizes the current research to propose a solution to the issue and submit it in this assignment.

Please note that your proposal is not an opinion/position paper, and your conclusions need to be based on the scientific research you reviewed earlier. Please follow the typical steps in proper academic writing (planning, outlining, drafting, revising, proofing, and editing) to generate the following proposal structure:

Introduction

In the introduction, you should set up the purpose for the proposal, provide a bit of background on the topic, and present your thesis.

Policy

Now that you have researched a variety of studies (in M4: Assignment 2), compile that information together to create a recommendation for policy makers regarding cell phone use while driving.

1: In a one-page summary, compare and contrast the results of the various studies regarding the cognitive abilities that are affected during cell phone use while driving.

2: Using that research, develop and explain particular recommendations for policy makers. For instance, restrict texting, or regulate the use of hand-held phones. All your recommendations must be supported by your research findings.

3: Based on the gaps in current research, describe the variables, populations, and situations which you would like to see future research address.

Conclusion

Review the important current research, your conclusions from that research, and how the future could look in both policy and research. Keep your goal in mind: To convince the reader to support your current policy proposal and future research to examine this issue more closely.

Your proposal should be written in APA style (which includes a title page with running header and a reference page), and free of typographical and grammatical errors.

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