Weapon Emphasis and Inattentional Blindness

Keywords: eyewitness recollection accuracy, weapon concentrate effects

The goal of this research is to research the effects of weapon target and inattentional blindness on eyewitness memory space. 91 members were randomly designated to 1 of six conditions. Participants performed one of three process; count the amount of bags (regular attentional collection), count the quantity of people in white colored tops (inconsistent attentional set), or count number nothing (control), while you're watching a video tutorial depicting a fraud consisting of presence or lack of weapon. Members then completed a questionnaire. The results obtained reveal that there is a main effect of weapon concentrate on eyewitness memory space. However, no significant results were found for the main effect of inattentional blindness and the connections effect of weapon concentrate and inattentional blindness on eyewitness memory space.

The Effects of Weapon Emphasis and Inattentional Blindness on Eyewitness Memory

Despite the advances in technology in forensic sciences, eyewitness testimony is still widely used as data in court tests to both recall the events took place and identify the perpetrator. Evidently, eyewitness testimony has an essential effect on juror's decision making. However, unintentional problems concerning identification of the perpetrator tends to happen. Therefore, several studies have been conducted to review the factors that could impair eyewitness ram. The current review aimed to research the consequences of weapon emphasis and inattentional blindness on eyewitness storage as doing this may deliver results that are definitely more suitable to real-life situations whereby witnesses are not completely mindful of the event that occurs or on the perpetrator, hence impacting on their memory for it.

Crimes including weapons are increasing. There's been conflicting quarrels in this field of research as some studies recommended that violent conditions such as weapons is associated with emotional arousal that could benefit memory, however, experts in the region favoured the idea that scenarios relating to the existence of weapons negative affects eyewitness performance. This occurrence is recognized as the weapon target effect. Weapon target effect is defined as the attention centered on a weapon in an event which brings about the reduced amount of attention aimed towards other details (Saunders).

According to Easterbrook (1959), weapon emphasis effect can be discussed using cue-utilisation theory which claims that upon discovering the presence of an weapon, witnesses experience increased stress which will then limit and concentrate their attention to the weapon instead of the perpetrator (Easterbrook). Weapons illicit high degrees of stress and thoughts as weapons are perceived as dangerous. Thus, according to Easterbrook, the heightened psychological arousal contributes to a decrease in attentional capacity; a reduction in the variety of cues from the stimulus (weapon) and its own environment to which the individual exists in. Specifically, a person's attention will be restricted and focused on the central information of the stimulus (weapon) at the expense of peripheral; minor, information (perpetrator's features). Therefore, information or cues central to the source of the psychological arousal (weapon) will be encoded while peripheral information or cues will not.

Or does indeed this sound better? Or must i rewrite it predicated on both contents?

As arousal rises, the amount of perceptual cues utilised decreases. This reduction commences with peripheral cues at a lower level of arousal and later if arousal rises it will affect central cues. At an optimum arousal level, when usage of peripheral cues is minimized allowing total attention to be paid to central cues, performance over a central job could actually improve. In accord with this theory, it employs that weapon target result occurs because in a crime situation, the weapon becomes the central cue the criminals' characteristics becomes a peripheral cues so that arousal rises encoding of the peripheral cues reduces. Perceptual narrowing occurs, give attention to the gun rather than perpetrators' characteristics

It is argued that witnesses would consider weapons as the central cue because witnesses would consider information pertaining to questions such as, 'Is it going to be used?' and 'Is it aimed at me?' (Kramer et al. , 1990, as cited in Pickel, ). This view in addition has been recognized by Christianson (1992) who discovered that emotional arousal causes narrowing of attention such that attention is directed to central details, at the trouble of peripheral information. That is reinforced by studies that steps eye fixation patterns that reflects visible attention. Studies in this field suggests that emotional scenes elicit longer fixation durations on central cues. It had been also discovered that central details of the views were better maintained when compared with peripheral details.

Loftus, Loftus, and Messo (1987) showed a classic exemplory case of the weapon focus effect. Within this experiment, 36 individuals viewed a series of 18 slides depicting customers ordering food at a fast-food wall socket. Members in the handled group viewed a customer handing the cashier a cheque for the purchase made followed by the cashier coming back some change. On the other hand, members in the experimental group viewed a customer pulling out a gun followed by the cashier handing the client some money. Participants' eye motions were recorded using a corneal representation device that provides a tv picture of the scenes observed by the individuals combined with a spot light that steps relative to participants' eye moves. Individuals were also asked to answer a brief questionnaire also to identify the mark man from an array of 12 images. Results out of this experiment uncovered that individuals in the tool condition spent a considerable massive amount time fixating on the gun as compared to members in the control condition; didn't fixate much attention on the check. Results from the recollection questionnaire and fall into line test show that participants in the tool condition scored lower than participants in the control condition. Therefore, results from the eye movement data implies that weapons distract participant's attention from other important cues thus impacting their ability to recognize the perpetrator. However, although significant results were found, you need to be cautious with the results as members in both conditions were subjected to relatively two different situations whereby not only was there a manipulation of the occurrence and absence of weapons, there is also a manipulation of presence and absence of a violent offense. Therefore, the dependent variable may have improbable measured the same thing.

Easterbrook's cue-utilisation hypothesis in addition has been supported by a good amount of literature in the area. For example, Pickel, Ross, & Truelove (2006) viewed whether weapons have an impact in taking attention. 230 participants were randomly designated into one of four conditions whereby they were told they might be seeing a staged landscape. Participants in the experimental communities were given a talk on the weapon focus effect while individuals in the control organizations were given a converse on eyewitness self-assurance. A minute following the lecture, an actor entered the class demanding to see a professor who acquired honored him a faltering grade while retaining either a book (neutral thing) or a firearm (weapon). Participants then completed two forms; Thayer's (1989) Activation-Deactivation Adjective Check List Brief Form and a questionnaire evaluation participants' storage area of the world. Results exposed that participants who were launched to a natural object have scored better in the memory space test when compared with the participants who had been exposed to a weapon which gives support for Easterbrook's cue-utilisation hypothesis (Pickel et al. ). This analysis further discovered that participants exposed to the lecture on the result of weapon target had a better memory score as compared to participants exposed to the lecture on eyewitness creditability. This finding suggests that the weapon concentrate effect can be conquer if it is made known to individuals.

Besides that, Wish & Wright (2007) evaluated the consequences of tool on attention. Participants in this test viewed a slideshow consisting of 13 pictures of the simulated event of a guy in a supermarket. In one of the slides, the perpetrator sometimes appears withdrawing the gun (tool condition), a colourful feather duster (unusual condition) or a wallet (control condition). Members then completed a 20 minute filler task before completing a questionnaire that measured the ram of the event. Data collected unveiled that participants exposed to the weapon condition had less accuracy regarding the perpetrator's physical characteristics but had a higher reliability in recognizing the tool (Expectation & Wright). This finding suggests that individuals have a tendency to fixate their attention on weapons instead of the perpetrator and thus affecting their capacity to recognize the perpetrator which is crucial in courtrooms.

In addition to Desire & Wright's results, Pickel (2009) looked into the consequences of tool on memory. With this experiment, 127 members were shown a training video depicting a perpetrator robbing two victims; a male and female, while retaining either CD (neutral thing) or a gun (tool). Upon viewing the video, individuals completed a questionnaire which tested their memory of the perpetrator's appearance. Results obtained show that participants in the weapon condition scored low in recalling the perpetrator's physical appearance (Pickel). This finding also facilitates the cue-utilisation hypothesis unveiled by Easterbrook (1959) and information that weapons may impair a person's ability to remember the eyewitness event.

Maass and Kohnken (1989) conducted a report to research the weapon concentrate effect on see recall and acceptance. Their test differed from other research in the region which used pictures or videos to depict an eyewitness event as they used a syringe as a tool simulation that is regarded as harm to members. 86 students were recruited because of this study. A false questionnaire regarding disposition and health behavior was first implemented to the themes. Upon completion, subjects were led into a room whereby a female confederate approached them while keeping the syringe partially filled up with a yellow water or a pen. Individuals then completed the same feeling scale and several filler responsibilities for 20 minutes. Pursuing that, participants completed a identification and recall activity. The recognition task involved identifying the prospective (female confederate) from a lineup of seven people as the recall task engaged answering a questionnaire that utilized members' recall of target's facial features. Results from the analysis revealed that individuals subjected to the syringe performed more poorly on the recall and identification task as compared to participants exposed to the pen.

Moreover, Steblay (1992) conducted a meta-analysis review on several weapon target effect studies. 19 studies were assessed that hypothesised that weapons negative impacts witness's potential in discovering criminals. Results from the meta-analysis uncovered that there is a difference in existence and lack of weapon conditions, with presence of weapons in a crime leading to a reduced accuracy and reliability in indentifying perpetrators of your crime.

In a recent study by Mitchell, Livosky, and Mather (2011), the studies of the result of weapons on eyewitness memory space was replicated. 83 participants were randomly allocated into one of four conditions whereby each of them viewed a video of a business exchange between two men whereby one of them is seen taking out either his bare hand (control), a stalk of celery (unusual), or a handgun (weapon) from a briefcase. Soon after, the members completed a ram questionnaire. Results obtained reveal a classic weapon focus impact whereby individuals in the weapon conditioned scored lower than participants in the control and unusual condition.

Besides exploring the consequences of weapon focus, this research also directed to check out inattentional blindness which was first coined by Mack & Rock and roll (1998). They described inattentional blindness as failing to perceive an unexpected stimulus as attention is devoted on another task or object (Mack & Rock and roll). Individuals have a tendency to fail to understand everything detail of the environment at all times, even though there is apparently no obvious factors that hampers their eye-sight. In a few situations, the consequences are trivial. For instance, Simon and Chabris (1999) discovered that individuals who were focused on finding their seats in a congested cinema often didn't notice their friends waving their forearms at them, attempting to acquire their attention. However, sometimes the consequences may be fatal. For instance, in an experiment, pilots were asked to use a flight simulator whereby the air travel console training was projected onto the windshield of the cockpit. It was assumed that this would have reduced errors as the pilots would be looking at both the system information as well as the exterior world at exactly the same time. The results out of this research was truly stunning. Some of the pilots tried to land the airplane as requested by the console information although another airplane was obstructing the runway. When questioned, the pilots reported not being aware of the blockage; they performed see an aircraft on the runway despite looking at it directly.

To better understand the factors that are involved in focusing focus on an unexpected stimulus, Neisser (1979, as cited in Rivordo et al. , 2011) created a perceptual pattern platform which accounted for attention get and take of understanding. Typically, Neisser examined stimulus properties that would influence the probability of an individual noticing an unexpected subject or event (bottom-up processing) as well as the operations that is under the control of the observer which influenced what they notice (top-down processing). Thus, through his initiatives, it has been found that unexpected stimulus by themselves and distinctiveness of the unforeseen stimulus do not take consciousness. Further research in the area has found that a stimulus is more likely to capture understanding if it's consistent with the attentional set. An attentional set in place is thought as devoting attention to a particular attribute of an stimuli (Rivordo et al. , 2011). Therefore, the likelihood of noticing the unpredicted stimulus rises if it shares similar perceptual features with the primary task. It's been discovered that when individuals adopt a attentional set, they adopt a top-down handling which overrides the individual's capability to capture other available information. In an average inattentional blindness study, an attentional set is established by giving instructions for female task. In regards to the current study, the primary job will be keeping track of a stimulus while the secondary job will be watching the video recording shown.

Neisser's theory was put to check by Most et al. (2001) that is based on a study by Mack and Rock (1998). In their study, 128 individuals were recruited. Participants were subjected to a computer programme whereby four white and four black T and L patterns moved independently and arbitrarily. As the objects moved, they might collide with each other and bounce off the edges of the screen. Individuals were asked to fixate their focus on a central point in the middle of the display screen but were asked to keep tally of the amount of times the things (either white or black T and L designs) bounced off the edges of the display. Individuals completed five studies. The first and second trial did not introduce any sudden stimulus. In the third trial, a cross form, either white or black in colour came out from the departed of the screen and transferred horizontally towards to the right of the display. Individuals were then given a questionnaire that asked if they experienced seen anything abnormal and provide information on the object. Pursuing that, participants completed a fourth trial whereby the mix appeared once again. They then completed the same questionnaire. Within the fifth trial, members were asked to fixate their attention on the centre point of the screen and not to keep track of the bounces (full attention). Finally, they completed the same questionnaire. Results exposed that whenever the unexpected object (combination) was like the attended objects, a lot more participants found the stimulus. Specifically, 94 percent of individuals who taken care of the white coloured shapes discovered the combination when it was white while only six percent of individuals in the same condition noticed the combination when it was dark-colored. Similar findings were found for individuals who attended to the black colored patterns; 94 percent noticed when the cross was dark, while nothing of the members found when it was white in color (Most et al. ). In a second part with their study, 32 members were recruited. The materials and steps used were indistinguishable to the people in the first experiment. However, rather than participating in to T and L styles, circles and squares were used and rather than a black combination, the unexpected subject was a red cross. Thus, it differed in shape and colour. Results out of this review reveal that about 30 percent of participants failed to notice the unexpected thing. Therefore, results from both studies facilitates Neisser's perceptual pattern framework that expresses that distinctiveness exclusively cannot account for attentional catch, instead, it's the similarity between the unforeseen stimulus to other things present that affects attentional get.

Once Neisser's theory has been set up and supported, Simon & Chabris (1999) conducted an experiment to look at the role of your attentional set in inattentional blindness. 228 participants were recruited because of this study. These were asked to watch a video of two groups comprising three players playing a casino game of field hockey; one team in white tshirts, another team in black tshirt. Participants were advised keep tally of the number of passes created by either the white or black team. Halfway through the video recording, participants were subjected to each one of two unpredicted events. In a single condition, a female holding hauling an umbrella walked from the remaining corner of the area to the right and disappearing off screen. Meanwhile, in the second condition, a woman in a gorilla halloween costume is seen walking in the same path; from the still left to the right. Following the video was enjoyed, members were asked to write down their matters on a piece of paper followed by completing a shock questionnaire that questioned if indeed they had found anything unusual. Overall, it was discovered that only 54 percent of members noticed the unpredicted event. Specifically, the results exposed that participants who counted the number of passes of the dark-colored team (principal task) recognized the dark-colored Gorilla more; (consistent attentional occur regards to color of team to shade of the Gorilla outfit) while members who have been asked to observe the activities of the white team hardly noticed the black Gorilla (inconsistent attentional set in place). On the other hand, there is little difference in members who were subjected to the girl with an umbrella. This could be attributed to the fact that the Gorilla was dark in colour whereas the lady with an umbrella was dressed in pale colorings. Thus, their findings reveal folks are more likely to notice an urgent stimulus if it shares similar features, in cases like this, colour of the gorilla with the colour of the team (Simon & Chabris).

Besides that, Hyman et al. (2010) examined the consequences of inattentional blindness while walking. 151 individuals were witnessed by two observers who have been positioned at both ends of your walkway. Out of the 151 individuals, 78 individuals were without the digital camera, 24 individuals were using their cell phones, 27 individuals were utilizing their music player while the remaining 22 individuals were walking in pairs and engaging in a dialogue. A brightly coloured dressed up unicycling clown was located somewhere in the center of the walkway. By the end of the walkway, participants were asked if indeed they acquired seen anything different and to explain it if replied yes. Individuals who responded no were specifically asked if indeed they had seen the unicycling clown. Results from their research revealed that participants who were on their cell phones were less inclined to notice an urgent stimulus; a unicycling clown, while walking. Specifically, 75 percent of individuals were inattentionally blind to the unicycling clown while 51 percent of people without electronic device, 61 percent of people with a very good music player, and 71 percent of individuals in pairs noticed the unicycling clown (Hyman et al. ). This finding shows that an unexpected stimulus can go away an individual's visual field if attention is focused on another job. Although it could be argued that the cellphone users were less inclined to pay attention to their area, Strayer et al. , (2003, as cited in Hymen et al. , ) discovered that cellular phone users were as more likely to look at items while in a travelling simulation, but were less inclined to remember the objects when compared to individuals not involved in another job. Furthermore, although this research did not review the affect of attentional sets in get of attention, it provides substantial information for the event of inattentional blindness in lifestyle.

Furthermore, Karns & Rivardo (2010) looked into the role of attentional set in inattentional blindness. 86 individuals were randomly given to 1 of two cases (family disaster or restraining order) and also to one of two unforeseen situations (family confrontation or gorilla). Members were subjected to 4 videos which were shown on a single screen. The very best left and lower part right quadrant covered distracter videos of the lobby of any dormitory. The most notable right quadrant included a video of any goal person walking through the learner lounge while the bottom kept quadrant contained the unexpected event. Every participant was subjected to the same videos except for the unexpected event. 1 / 2 of the members were exposed to a confrontation between two individuals near a staircase while the remaining 50 % of the individuals were exposed a guy clad in a gorilla halloween costume walking down the same staircase. Individuals in the restraining order situation were given an image and physical explanation regarding a target individual who has a restraining order against him and was no longer allowed to be on campus. On the other hand, individuals in the family crisis scenario were provided with the same picture and physical information. However, these were up to date that the target's family wanted him scheduled to a crisis. Following that, members were informed to act a security officers and be on the lookout for the prospective person. They individuals were instructed to pause the video tutorial upon identifying the mark individual. Finally, members were asked to completed a questionnaire that inquired if indeed they possessed seen anything strange on campus. The results obtained demonstrates consistent attentional collection increases the possibility of noticing the unexpected stimulus; members in the family emergency condition were much more likely to notice the gorilla (71 percent) than the confrontation world (33 percent) while individuals in the restraining order condition was much more likely to note the confrontation (77 percent) rather than the gorilla (40 percent) (Karns & Rivardo). This finding shows an attentional collection that is constant with this content of the function will certainly reduce inattentional blindness.

A recent study by Chabris, Weinberger, Fontaine and Simons (2011) simulated a event that occurred in Boston whereby a policemen on a run after ran past an assault but said to not have observed it. This analysis was an initial attempt to research inattentional blindness in real-world happenings. In the first part of the experiment, 20 students were recruited and examined independently. Each participant was asked to run after a male confederate for 400 meters during night time. Participants were asked to keep up a distance of at least 9 meters while keeping count number of the amount of times the confederate handled his head. About 125 meters in to the run after, about eight meters from the two joggers, two male confederates were beating up another men confederate. By the end of the chase, the experimenters asked the members if they had witness anything different along their pursuit. Results from their study unveiled that only 35 percent of participants noticed the attack. This findings shows that inattentional blindness does apply to real life situations. However, one could argue that it was due to the darkness that individuals failed to spot the attack. Therefore, the experimenters replicated the analysis by repeated the same procedure but performed the run after during daytime on. Results from the second analysis reveal that only 56 percent of participants noticed the fight, thus providing facts that inattentional blindness still persists. Once more, although this research did not incorporate the effects of attentional collections in noticing an unexpected stimulus, compared to the analysis by ?, this analysis manipulated the participants' activity (asked to count the amount of touches to the head). Meanwhile, the study by ? just manipulated the sudden stimulus while the primary job of participants weren't manipulated.

Another review by Lane (2006) investigated the consequences of participating in two task simultaneously on storage. In his research, 144 members were randomly assigned into two categories. Members in both groupings were asked to watch a slideshow of an scenario whereby a guy is seen joining a office, repairs a chair and lastly stealing some cash and a calculator. Individuals in the first group were asked to view the slideshow while hearing some songs. They were further instructed that the tape would be quit at any moment, and when that happens, they were to convey the title or designer of the last two songs. Following that, individuals completed a music acceptance test. Then, participants completed a phrase search puzzle before responding to a storage area questionnaire. Meanwhile, members in the next group were asked to first view the slideshow before hearing the songs. Pursuing that, participants completed the storage area questionnaire before concluding the music recognition task. Results out of this research disclosed that participants who were asked to participate in two task together displayed poorer ram results for the eyewitness event than members who completed both activity separately.

Although there's been considerable research on both inattentional blindness and eyewitness storage area separately, there is apparently little integration between them. Thus far, there is only one review that included both these areas. Rivardo et al. (2011) conducted a report to examine how attentional collection can impact inattentional blindness for a simulated eyewitness occurrence and the consequent storage for this. 187 students were arbitrarily designated into one of three attentional pieces condition; consistent attention place (count the number of people with and without shopping carriers), inconsistent attentional set in place (count the number of individuals in putting on and not using blue shirts), and control condition (count number little or nothing). The attentional occur this test was manipulate according to the similarity between the primary process (what things to count) and the critical item (shopping carrier stolen). At the start of the experiment, participants were given a expression list to memorize. From then on, a video of your theft of a shopping bag that took place in a shopping mall was shown. While the video tutorial was shown, members completed the task they were given to in line with the attentional set conditions they were in. After the video tutorial was shown, members composed down their tallies on a piece of paper followed by writing down as many of what they appreciated from the word list. Finally, members completed a questionnaire predicated on the training video. Results out of this study disclosed that participants in the constant attentional collection condition (count up the number of handbags) were much more likely to note the theft of the shopping bag as compared to members in the inconsistent attentional collection (count range of consumers in blue t-shirts). Subsequently, participants who were inattentionally blind to the robbery showed low accuracy and reliability in reporting information on the fraud (Rivordo et al. ).

Considering the studies conducted on both weapon concentrate and inattentional blindness, the existing study brought up the question: what are the effects of weapon emphasis and inattentional blindness on eyewitness storage? This area of research was chosen as little work have been designed to incorporate these two fields of research. In addition, the phenomena of inattentional blindness is more reflective of a genuine eyewitness event as witnesses will be occupied with another activity or activity such as shopping, generating, and talking to another person through the event.

There are three hypotheses. First of all, it was expected that participants in the weapon condition will have lower precision of eyewitness storage area. This hypothesis is in line with research conducted by Pickel et al. (2006), Trust & Wright (2007), and Pickel (2009). Subsequently, it was hypothesized that individuals in the regular attentional set in place condition will notice the fraud compared to members in the inconsistent attentional arranged condition and thus are more likely to have a much better correctness of the eyewitness event. This hypothesis is consistent with the research by Karns & Rivardo (2010) and Rivardo et al. (2011). Lastly, I hypothesised that individuals exposed to the presence of your weapon combined with a consistent attentional set in place will produce higher accuracy regarding the eyewitness event. I hypothesized that the discussion impact will have completely contrary results in comparison to the main effect of weapon target as a research conducted by Kane (2012) found that when weapons were present, the changes to the scenes were discovered significantly faster compared to displays with an lack of weapons and so having an effect on memory space of the function. Therefore, I hope to find similar results in this proposed research by incorporating inattentional blindness rather than change blindness. Although it can be argued that both change blindness and inattentional blindness are two different trend, there appears to be one vital similarity between the two of these. Both inattentional blindness and change blindness involves a failure in confirming a aesthetic stimuli that is usually quite noticeable. Therefore, it has been found that centered attention is necessary for both phenomenon's to be defeat.

There are a couple of implications of performing this review. If significant results are found, inattentional blindness may reduce the amount of unreliable witnesses. That is possible as within an actual eyewitness event, witnesses are usually engaging in another task which research attempted to make a simulated eyewitness event in a lab review by including a key job. Therefore, the conclusions obtained can be used to improve eyewitness testimony in a courtroom. This can be done by merely requesting the witnesses what they were doing as the event occurred. Upon realizing that the witnesses were concentrating on a primary process, the jury can make better decisions by dismissing the accounts of eyewitnesses and centering more on research. Besides that, there also is apparently a theoretical and practical implication to this review. Theoretically, further research can be conducted to research if both phenomenon's of weapon focus and inattentional blindness are programmed or controlled handling. If it is a controlled handling, the practical implication that arises is the fact individuals who are more likely to observe a criminal offense committed by an equipped criminal, for example a standard bank officer, could quite possibly be trained to be able to get ready them to execute better as eyewitnesses.



This study used a 2 x 3 between themes design. The indie factors were weapon emphasis and attentional set in place. The first unbiased variable, weapon emphasis experienced two levels; occurrence of a tool and lack of a weapon. The second independent adjustable, attentional set acquired three levels; consistent; count the amount of bags, inconsistent; rely the number of folks in white coloured tops, and control; count up nothing, just give attention to watching the video. Reliable and inconsistent attentional place refers to the amount of similarity between the primary task; counting either totes or white colored top, to the unforeseen stimulus; handbag being taken. The dependent variable will be eyewitness storage, operationally defined as results on the questionnaire which testing memory of the function.


180 psychology undergraduate students from a local college or university were recruited. The test size was dependant on conducting a electric power analysis utilizing a power of 0. 8 with around small effect size, f = 0. 25 (Faul, Erdfelder, Lang, & Buchner, 2007). A convenience sampling approach was adopted due to financial and time constraints. 89 data of participants who knew the stars in the video recording were discarded to avoid potential conflict of interest that would have an impact on the validity of the results obtained.


In order to control the first 3rd party variable; weapon emphasis, two different videos were used. The first video depicted a world of several customers coming into a restaurant. Towards the finish of the video tutorial, a male perpetrator casually strolled up to the restaurant and quickly stole the handbag of your male student who was seated nearby the access of the restaurant. The male perpetrator is then seen fleeing the arena. In this video tutorial, there was an lack of weapon. Meanwhile, the next video tutorial depicted a world similar to the first video recording, however, instead of a guy stealing a handbag and operating away, the man produced a blade and demanded the male customer at hand his carrier over before fleeing the landscape. Meanwhile, the reliant variable was measured by administering a questionnaire that included inattentional blindness founded questions about the content of the video recording as well as a recall test about the theft such as "Did you notice a fraud?", "What was the gender of the thief?", and "Was the thief taking any object?".


The current research included a few of the procedures found in the study by Rivardo et al. (2011). In this study, individuals were randomly assigned to one of six conditions. Firstly, the experimenter briefed the members using one of the three most important attentional task; depend the amount of bags (dependable attentional set in place), count the quantity of folks in white coloured tops (inconsistent attentional collection), or count nothing at all (control), that is usually to be completed while watching the training video. Next, the video was played. After the video tutorial was shown, members were asked to complete the questionnaire. Finally, participants were debriefed on the real character of the test. A pilot research was completed to test the procedure.


After the experiment was conducted, the results on the questionnaires were tabulated. This is performed by summing up the number of correct answers. The credit score attained by each participant was out of a total of 12. The means are saved in Desk 1 and Stand 2.

Table 1

Comparison of opportinity for weapon focus

Weapon focus










8. 640

3. 539

0. 454

0. 456

Table 2

Comparison of opportinity for inattentional blindness









6. 233

0. 551






5. 813

6. 223

0. 540

0. 579

As shown in Stand 1, participants who had been subjected to the lack of weapon scored greater than those exposed to the presence of weapon. In the meantime, as shown in Desk 2, participants who were placed in the constant attentional collection condition scored the best, followed by those in the control group, and then the participants in the inconsistent attentional set condition.

A normality test was performed to verify if the test size is normal. The results proved that the normality assumption of skewness for tool focus (Skewness = 0. 022) and inattentional blindness (Skewness = 0. 061) is satisfied while the normality assumption of kurtosis for tool target (Kurtosis = -2. 045) has not been found but has been attained for inattentional blindness (Kurtosis = -1. 467). Specifically, for tool concentration, skewness and kurtosis is not met for lack of tool, (Skewness = -2. 083, Kurtosis = 5. 687) while skewness and kurtosis has been achieved for occurrence of weapon, (Skewness = 0. 236, Kurtosis = -1. 651). In the mean time, the skewness and kurtosis has been met for steady attentional set (Skewness = -0. 937, Kurtosis = -0. 438), inconsistent attentional collection (Skewness = -0. 351, Kurtosis = -1. 590), and control (Skewness = -0. 622, Kurtosis = -1. 067). Since the test size was less than 2000, Shapiro-Wilk test was performed. However, the Shapiro-Wilk test is not assumed for both lack and presence of tool, (p < 0. 05). The Shapiro-Wilk test is also not assumed for regular attentional set, inconsistent attentional place, and control, (p < 0. 05). Although the normality assumption for everyone degrees of both weapon focus and inattentional blindness has not been met, the data can be analyzed using an unbiased factorial ANOVA test as it is a solid test. As a result, it is not delicate to the violation of normality (Field, 2009).

To explore the importance of the descriptive reports results obtained above, an independent factorial ANOVA was run because of three reasons. Firstly, it is just a factorial design as there are two indie parameters. Besides that, the size of measurement for both independent variables are nominal as the scale of way of measuring for the dependent variable is proportion. Lastly, it can be an unbiased design as members only experienced one degree of each independent adjustable.

Levene's Test of Equality of Problem Variances is not assumed (p < 0. 05). However, because an ANOVA test is a powerful test, even although assumption is violated, significant variations can still be found (Field, 2009). The self-employed factorial ANOVA disclosed that there surely is a main aftereffect of weapon concentrate on eyewitness ram, F (1, 85) = 62. 869, p < 0. 001. Thus, referring back again to Table 1, members in the lack of weapon condition have scored significantly higher (M = 8. 64, SD = 0. 45) than individuals in the occurrence of tool condition (M = 3. 54, SD = 0. 46). Therefore, the first hypothesis was recognized. However, there is absolutely no significant main aftereffect of inattentional blindness on weapon concentrate, F (2, 85) = 0. 192, p > 0. 05. Therefore, the next hypothesis had not been supported; members in the regular attentional set condition will notice the theft compared to members in the inconsistent attentional set condition and therefore are more likely to have a better accuracy of the eyewitness event. Furthermore, there is no significant interaction aftereffect of weapon emphasis and inattentional blindness on eyewitness memory, F (2, 85) = 2. 625, p > 0. 05. Therefore, the discussion hypothesis was also not reinforced; participants subjected to the presence of the weapon coupled with a consistent attentional collection will produce higher accuracy regarding the eyewitness event.


The results obtained show that presence of weapons in a offense reduces eyewitnesses' potential to recall information on the event accurately. This finding facilitates the first hypothesis which stated that individuals in the presence of weapon condition will have a lesser accuracy and reliability of eyewitness storage as compared to participants in the absence of tool condition. However, the results of this study failed to yield significant results for the key effect of inattentional blindness as well as for the interaction aftereffect of weapon concentrate and inattentional blindness on eyewitness memory space. Therefore, the second hypothesis was not supported which stated that

participants in the constant attentional set in place condition will notice the fraud compared to members in the inconsistent attentional arranged condition and so are more likely to have a much better precision of the eyewitness event. Finally, the third hypothesis was also not recognized which stated that participants subjected to the presence of a weapon coupled with a regular attentional place will produce higher correctness about the eyewitness event.

The weapon concentration impact was replicated in today's review which is constant with the analysis conducted by Loftus, Loftus, and Messo (1987) who also found that the presence of weapons reduces the exactness of eyewitness storage area in conditions of recalling information on the function and identifying the perpetrator. Their studies is further supported by yet another method employed whereby the experts tracked the attention moves of the participants and found that members in the tool condition fixated more on the gun than on other items in the environment. Although the current study didn't perform an eye-movement data collection, similar results were still obtained as both studies employed the same method of placing participants into one of two conditions: existence or absence of tool. Thus, the similar results in today's analysis obtained may have implemented the theory suggested by Easterbrook that stated that in the existence of weapons, the upsurge in anxiety restricts participants focus on the weapon and not other details in the surroundings.

Besides that, the results of the present review is also consistent with the analysis by Pickel, Ross, and Truelove (2006) who found a substantial decrease in memory scores in participants who were exposed to the weapon condition. Even though the researchers unveiled a tool to the members via a staged scene while the present research used a training video, similar results could be obtained because in both studies, there is a presence of menace: directly or indirectly. Thus this business lead to a rise in arousal levels, which corresponding to Easterbrook brings about a narrowing of attention whereby attention will be limited to the weapon rather than the perpetrator.

The current study's consequence is also consistent with the analysis conducted by Anticipation & Wright (2007) which stated that participants exposed to the tool condition had a lesser accuracy about the perpetrator's physical characteristics but displayed a higher correctness in figuring out the weapon used. Although members in Anticipation & Wright's study were subjected to a neutral object (a wallet) in exchange of a weapon while participants in the current research were either introduced to a tool or no subject by any means, this review confirms Easterbrook's theory that weapons together are responsible for the narrowing of attention on the weapon.

Furthermore, the findings by Pickel (2009) also facilitates the present study's results. In his research, it was found that the presence of any weapon within an eyewitness event influences eyewitness's ability to recall the perpetrators appearance adversely. Similar results were replicated in the present analysis because in both current review and the analysis by Pickel, both experts introduced participants in both the absence or existence of weapon condition to an identical arena: a theft. Really the only difference in both videos were the lack of presence of the weapon. Therefore, the significant results obtained can be highly attributed to the presence of an weapon.

In addition to that, the results of the existing review is also constant with the study conducted by Maass and Kohnken (1989) who discovered that participants subjected to an subject that is recognized to be unsafe perform improperly in recalling the facts of the function as well as knowing the perpetrator via line-up test. Although the analysis by Maass and Kohnken involved exposing participants right to a threatening thing, similar results could have been obtained as in both studies, there was a presence of risk either immediately or indirectly to the individuals. This threat causes a rise in arousal levels or anxiousness emotion to be specific. Thus, matching to Easterbrook, this upsurge in arousal levels will lead to a narrowing of attention whereby attention is targeted on the weapon rather than the perpetrator.

Meanwhile, the present study's results were also found to be consistent with the meta-analytic research conducted by Steblay (1992) who reviewed 19 studies on the weapon emphasis effect and found that existence of weapons in a crime leads to a lower accuracy and reliability in eyewitness memory space. Although the procedure by both present analysis and Steblay's research was different, similar results were yielded because the studies researched by Steblay involved exposing participants to videos of crimes whereby there is either a presence or lack of weapons.

Finally, the weapon target impact was replicated in the present study which is consistent with the analysis conducted by Mitchell, Livosky, and Mather (2011) who discovered that the presence of weapons lowered participants' capacity to recall correctly the facts of the eyewitness event. Similar results was obtained because of the similarity in the degrees of the independent adjustable; weapon concentration. In Mitchell, Livosky, and Mather's analysis, they exposed participants to the bare palm (control) or a handgun (weapon) which is comparable to the current research: no object at hand (lack of weapon) or blade (weapon). Therefore, the results obtained in both studies disclosed that weapons by itself are in charge of the lower exactness in eyewitness memory space.

On the other hand, the present study failed to replicated the results obtained by Simon & Chabris (1999) with reference to the effects of attentional sets on inattentional blindness. Simon & Chabris discovered that consistent attentional pieces aids in realizing an unexpected event. Today's research was unsuccessful in achieving the same results as the unpredicted event in Simon & Chabris's review was rather obvious: a dark-colored gorilla amidst a hockey game whereas the unforeseen stimulus in today's research was the theft of a tote in a restaurant. Therefore, it is believed that the results were not replicated because of the variations in the context of the unexpected event.

Besides that, the existing study's results were also found to be inconsistent with preceding conclusions by Hymen et al. (2010) which concluded that if individuals were preoccupied with a task at hand, they would unlikely to note an urgent event despite its unusualness and clarity. The current research failed to yield any effect of inattentional blindness on eyewitness ram as the analysis centered more on specifically the influence of attentional packages on get of attention as the study by Hymen et al. focused on preoccupation with another process.

The research by Karns & Rivardo (2010) also contradicts the studies of the existing study as they successfully found an optimistic effect of regular attentional models on the probability of noticing an urgent event. Today's study failed to achieve similar results because in the study by Karns & Rivardo, the attentional sets were manipulated differently. Instead of requesting participants to count an object that is comparable or different to the unpredicted stimulus, participants were provided with a scenario that was either similar or dissimilar to the surprising stimulus. To demonstrate, the results from the analysis found that members who were prepared to consider a target person that has a restraining order were more likely to notice a confrontation between two individuals while members who were educated to consider a target specific whose family was looking for him anticipated to a crisis were much more likely to note a gorilla walking on campus.

Furthermore, the existing study didn't replicate the results found by Chabris, Weinberger, Fontaine, and Simons (2011) who effectively provided data that inattentional blindness occurs in real-life situations. The main reason the current review did not yield similar results is basically because the current review centered on the effect of attentional units in the probability of noticing an urgent event while the analysis by Chabris et al. just tested the consequences of participating in to primary job on the inability to note another event occurring not too far away from an individual's aesthetic field. Therefore, the difference in manipulation might have business lead to the difference in results obtained.

The results of the present review is also not steady with the analysis conducted by Street (2006) who efficiently found that accomplishing two tasks all together contributes to inattentional blindness. The present study didn't yield similar results as it took on the different strategy in understanding the phenomena of inattentional blindness: the influence of attentional collections. On the other hand, the study by Lane focused on the effects of completing an individual primary job versus completing two tasks: one major and one extra task, on the likelihood of noticing the sudden stimulus. However, it could be argued that there are similarities in both studies: both included participants participating in either one major job (control group) or engaging in one primary activity and one supplementary task (most important: keeping track of a stimulus, extra: seeing the video). Nevertheless, the failing in obtaining similar results could then be attributed to the fact that in the present study, both jobs were visual tasks within the study by Lane, one job was a visual task as the other was an auditory activity.

Lastly, the results obtained by Rivardo et al. (2011) did not match the current study studies. Rivardo et al. effectively found that consistent attentional sets favorably affects a person's ability to note an unexpected stimulus. Although the current study replicated part of the methods from Rivardo et al. , similar conclusions was still not obtained. This may be attributed to a few reasons. First of all, unlike the current research, Rivardo et al. included a filler activity: given a term list to memorise. This might have provided individuals with a low level of expectancy while watching the video recording. However, it has its downsides as while watching the video recording, some members may be preoccupied with rehearsing the term list silently instead of keeping tallies of the attentional collections they were given to. Besides that, the results obtained could also be attributed to the actual fact that all individuals were exposed to the same video tutorial of the theft of your shopping bag. In today's study, in order to control for the absence and presence of weapon, members were exposed to each one of two videos. Therefore, as members were subjected to two different videos, the result of inattentional blindness cannot have been accurately compared.

Although not all the hypothesis were supported, the present analysis still retains several strengths. For example, the questionnaire comprised both multiple choice questions as well as wide open concluded questions. Research has found that under free recall, individuals experience hypermnesia: exceptionally stunning recollection or storage area (Dunning & Stern, 1992). Exactly the same researchers also found that providing multiple choice questions reduced hypermnesia (Dunning & Stern). Besides that, there is a control for a possible discord of interest which could have arise. Specifically, individuals were given yet another question requesting them if indeed they knew any of the celebrities in the training video. If they responded yes, their data could have been discarded. If this is not done, the validity of the effect obtained could have been affected as participants' attention might have been fixated on the celebrities they knew. Moreover, there was a disorder of low expectancy on the list of participants as participants were told they were participating in an experiment studying the consequences of process difficulty on performance. Therefore, there is a control for demand characteristic as the method of manipulation of the 3rd party factors were implicit: they were not aware that the principal task these were joining to was the 3rd party variable. In addition, the same sufferer and perpetrator was used in both videos.

However, exactly like any research, the present study retains several shortcomings. One of the weaknesses of the study was the length of the videos. In the analysis by Rivardo et al. (2011), the videos shown to the participants were only three minutes long. The existing study hired a seven minutes long video. The length of the video recording is thought to be a weakness as it might have brought on boredom among participants as there have been moments where some participants weren't paying full focus on the video tutorial after. This was noticed by the researcher through the duration of the tests. On another point of view, Kassin, Tubb, Hosch, and Memon (2001, as cited in Fahsing & Granhag, 2004) studied the consequences of crime duration on eyewitness recollection and discovered that the longer content observed an event, the more information may very well be encoded and appreciated. However, in today's research, the crime length of time was hardly 10 seconds despite the video tutorial being seven minutes long. Therefore, as based on the Kassin, Tubb, Hosch, and Memon (2001, as cited in Fahsing & Granhag, 2004), less information of the eyewitness event was able to encoded and recalled.

Besides the distance of the video tutorial, another weakness that is apparent in today's study is choreography of the videos. Essentially, there are two weaknesses that relates to the choreography. First of all, as the videos were filmed in a general public restaurant, despite having research assistants performing out as according to the task they were assigned to, there have been other patrons in the restaurants that were either coming into or leaving the place. This weakness cannot have been handled for by the researcher. Therefore, both the videos weren't similar with regards to the actions of the other patrons in the restaurant. The dissimilarity may have damaged the validity of the results obtained as the perceptual insert (the number of bags carried by individuals or the amount of individuals in white coloured tops) might have been unequal in both videos. Besides that, another weakness would be the choreography of the video focused participants' attention to the access of the restaurant as each acting professional came in a single after another from the same direction. Moreover, the fraud occurred at the access of the restaurant. To help expand illustrate this perception, Most, Simons, Scholl, & Chabris (2000) found significant results that the location of the surprising stimulus affects the probability of noticing it. Specifically, it has been discovered that observers will notice the sudden stimulus if its close to the focus of the individual's attention. Hence, as the focus of the individual's attention is predicted to be fixated at the entrance of the restaurant, this could have influenced the probability of participants realizing the unpredicted event: robbery.

Another flaw that can be found in today's review was the existence of an instantaneous recall process or the lack of a filler job. Experts in the area of eyewitness memory concur that the accuracy and reliability of memory diminishes as time passes (Kassin et al. , 2001, as cited in Fahsing & Granhag, 2004). Therefore, as individuals' ram of the event was tested immediately after the video tutorial, it reduces the generalization of the results obtained as within an genuine eyewitness event, eyewitnesses wouldn't normally be asked to provide a declaration immediately. Thus, a filler task might have increased the validity of the result obtained as participants' memory space of the eyewitness event would not be as fresh as it is after enjoying the video recording.

Additionally, another flaw that is obvious is the present study is the inability to include a reply confidence score for the ram questionnaire. Though it was previously argued that a multiple choice question reduces hypermnesia, such questions may have compelled some participants to guess a remedy which would subsequently influence the validity of the results obtained. Hence, including a confidence rating would have provided the researcher with an improved perspective of participants' answer that may ultimately improve the validity of the results obtained.

Furthermore, as Easterbrook's cue utilization hypothesis (1959) suggested that weapons illicit a rise in arousal levels in eyewitnesses which in turn fixates their focus on the weapon, it would have been wise to measure participants' arousal level before and after individuals viewed the training video. Doing so would boost the validity of the effect obtained: the decrease in precision of the eyewitness event was due to the existence of weapon. However, some research workers believe it not all weapons illicit higher arousal levels. For instance, Kramer et al. (1990, as cited in?) conducted a series of experiments which provided conflicting results. In a single experiment, it was reported that weapons in a field illicit higher arousal levels whereas in another test although no significant higher arousal levels were found, the weapon emphasis effect was still present. Kramer et al. attributed this finding compared to that the weapon concentrate effect may have happened because the weapons were different items in the displays. Therefore, although today's study is more thinking about the practical implications of the consequences of weapon on eyewitness ram rather than the theoretical reason behind the effect, it could have been interesting to gauge the arousal levels in order to confirm the weapon focus effect.

Besides the shortcomings mentioned above, there are also several confounding parameters that should be addressed. For example, gender has been found to are likely involved in the weapon emphasis effect. Shaw & Skolnick (2006) found that there was an own-gender bias in figuring out a perpetrator of the eyewitness event when there was an absence of weapon. However, there appeared to be an opposite impact when there was a presence of weapon. Therefore, although significant results were obtained, you need to err on the side of extreme care when generalizing the results.

In addition to gender variances, individual dissimilarities in working recollection capacity in addition has been found to play a role in both weapon emphasis impact and inattentional blindness. Research on working memory capacity has found that individuals with a greater working ram capacity can store more detailed mental image of the original circumstance (Jaschinski & Wentura, 2002). In the mean time, earlier research that researched the effects of working recollection capacity on inattentional blindness has discovered that individuals with a lesser working ram capacity have a higher tendency never to process the surprising stimulus. Therefore, they are unlikely to notice the surprising stimulus which in changes affects their ram from it.

Age in addition has been found to be always a confounding adjustable in inattentional blindness studies. A recent research by Graham & Burke (2011) found that older adults will experience inattentional blindness as compared to younger adults (16-22). This may be attributed to a lower attentional capacity in more aged adults which does not allow for a far more challenging dual attentional tasks. Therefore, once more it is best to err privately of extreme caution when generalizing the results found to all of those other population.

Meanwhile, individual's disposition in addition has been found to influence one's attention. Specifically, a report by Becker & Leinenger (2011) discovered that individuals are much more likely to notice an urgent stimulus if it complements the observer's current mood. For example, in the current study, if members were already anxious, they would be likely to spot the robbery as the victim displayed anxiety upon the theft. The findings from Becker & Leinenger suggest that one's feelings can affect their attentional filtration system, thus affecting the information one pays attention to.

Besides confounding factors, there also appears to be other variables that should be taken into account if the results from the study is usually to be generalized or replicated. For example, it's been found that the kind of weapon in a crime influences the effectiveness of the weapon concentrate effect (Fahsing & Granhag, 2004). Specifically, it has been found that guns produce higher threat and arousal levels as opposed to knives. Thus, individuals exposed to firearms would provide poorer information of the perpetrator when compared with participants subjected to knives. However, other results have also be found. Within an test by Fahsing & Granhag, they discovered that exposure to guns were associated with a higher accuracy in regards to description of the perpetrator as compared to contact with knives. Regardless of the conflicting results obtained, one proven fact that is certain is the fact that the type of weapons in crimes impact the accuracy and reliability of eyewitness storage area. Therefore, the results obtained in regards to the weapon focus impact should be read with extreme caution as its results may well not be generalized to every eyewitness event.

In addition to the kind of weapon, the number of perpetrators in addition has been found to effect eyewitnesses' memory. For instance, Sporer (1996, as cited in Fahsing & Granhag, 2004) found that crimes with an increased variety of perpetrators results in a lower accuracy and reliability of eyewitness storage due to divided attention: attention is divided among all the perpetrators. Furthermore, witness role in addition has been found to influence eyewitness memory. For example, Christianson and Hubinette (1993, as cited Fahsing & Granhag, 2004) revealed that victims of crimes were better at recalling the eyewitness event instead of bystanders. As a result, participants in the present study acted as bystanders, thus, their memory of the event is believed to be poorer.

Therefore, based on the shortcomings and confounding variables in the present research, a few advancements or extensions can be made for future studies. Firstly, the length of the training video shouldn't be too long in order to ensure that participants are fully attentive to the video. Besides that, the choreography of the training video should be prepared in a way that ensures participants center point of attention is not fond of one location. This can be done by making sure actors are walking into the scene and fascinating the field from various locations. Also, in order to essentially test witnesses' storage, it is preferred to add a filler task or if possible, test their recollection after weekly. This will likely ensure the info generated can be employed to real-life situations. Furthermore, response self-assurance ratings should also be included in order to boost the validity of results obtained. In the mean time, in order to regulate for confounding parameters such as gender, individual distinctions in working storage capacity, get older, and spirits, appropriate measures have to be used order to fully validate the consequences of the impartial parameters on the based mostly variable. For example, participants should discover a feelings scale before and after the experiment in order to study if their moods have an impact in the results obtained. On the other hand, parameters such as kind of weapon and variety of perpetrators should be researched as well as weapon concentration and inattentional blindness to be able to see if a difference in results is out there.

As mentioned in the beginning of this research newspaper, there are several implications of executing this study. First of all, by studying the consequences of both weapon concentration and inattentional blindness on eyewitness storage can significantly reduce the quantity of unreliable eyewitnesses. This is possible as the current study aimed to create a simulated eyewitness event whereby members acted as bystanders who were busy with an activity at hand rather than looking forward to a cr

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