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By Sally M.Lloyd- Bostock

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In traditional laboratory studies the subject is passive, prepared and non-aroused: a witness or a victim is none of these things. These are only some of the more obvious aspects of experimental procedures which will have to be changed if psychology is to become more relevant to the eye-witness debate. Many other inappropriate procedures could be described but the above should suffice to make the point that a very large gulf exists between what the pure psychologist knows about memory and perception and what the applied psychologist knows about memory and perception as it relates to eye-witnessing.

R. Conrad, 'Acoustic Confusions in Immediate Memory', British Journal of Psychology, 55, (I964) 75-84. R. ', Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behaviour, 6, (I 967) 49-54· R. G. Crowder, Principles of Learning and Memory (Hillsdale, New Jersey, Erlbaum Associates, I 976). P. Hamilton, R. Hockey and M. Rejman, 'The place of the concept of activation in human information processing theory: An integrative approach', inS. ), Attention and Peiformance, VI (Hillsdale, New Jersey, Erlbaum Associates, I977)· A.

No two fingerprints are ever the same. Even your house has changed shape since you last saw it. Over and above these changes in the stimuli being perceived are the changes in physical viewing position of the observer, his mood and expectancies. The important question is whether the error inherent in any recognition technique is acceptable or not. A further criticism ofTosi's study was that none of his spectrograms came from subjects under psychological stress. Such stress may well be present in a criminal investigation and Cutler et al.

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