Blame conformity: leading eyewitness statements can influence attributions of blame for an accident

Thorley, Craig, and Rushton-Woods, Jayne (2013) Blame conformity: leading eyewitness statements can influence attributions of blame for an accident. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 27 (3). pp. 291-296.

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Abstract

The present experiment examined whether attributions of blame for an incident can be shifted between individuals as a result of a leading eyewitness statement. Participants watched a video of an accident involving two men and then read either a non-leading eyewitness statement that blamed no one for the accident or a leading eyewitness statement that blamed one of the two men for the accident. Participants' attributions of blame for the accident were then assessed either immediately or after a 1 week delay. Regardless of the time delay, just over one-third of participants who read a leading statement subsequently blamed the same person as the eyewitness. In contrast, less than 4% of participants who read a non-leading statement blamed one of the men. This research is the first to demonstrate blame conformity, where blame for an incident can be shifted between individuals as a result of a leading eyewitness statement.

Item ID: 46871
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1099-0720
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2017 05:35
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170104 Forensic Psychology @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1702 Cognitive Science > 170201 Computer Perception, Memory and Attention @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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