Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Misleading post-event information, especially presented through co-witness discussion, has consistently shown to be a powerful way to alter a witness’s memory for an event. Less is known about how misleading co-witness information affects those with specific individual difference traits, however. The current study analyzed the impact of social anxiety on susceptibility to co-witness misinformation and memory conformity (i.e., co-witness suggestibility). Participants viewed a short film of a simulated home robbery and some discussed the film with a confederate posing as a co-witness. During the discussion, the confederate introduced either accurate or misleading information about events in the film. After the discussion, the participant-confederate pairs wrote a collaborative police report, and an individual recall test followed. Participants receiving accurate PEI had higher correct recall both collaboratively and individually, while participants receiving misleading PEI had higher misleading item recall both collaboratively and individually. In this preliminary sample, social anxiety did not predict differences in correct or misleading item recall (both collaboratively and individually), suggesting that social anxiety may not increase a person’s vulnerability to co-witness suggestibility.
Schober, Susan, "The Impact Of Social Anxiety On Co-Witness Suggestibility" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 3941.