The Factors that Affect Memory and the Implications on Eyewitness Testimonies
Keywords:Eye Witness, Memory
Human memory is subject to psychological and social factors that can influence and distort the way events are remembered. Scientists have long since studied the effects of a variety of factors on memory, especially in relation to eyewitness testimonies, which are an integral part of the criminal justice system. However, we believe that much further study is required in this field. The aforementioned memory distortions can render eyewitness testimonies unreliable. Altered memories of a crime can derail a police investigation, lead to the false prosecution of an innocent person, and result in a guilty person going free. We must, therefore, ensure that courtroom decision-makers worldwide are aware of the multiple ways in which eyewitness testimonies can be faulty and design easily implementable measures to prevent faulty testimonies from influencing criminal cases. Here, we discuss how stress and trauma, situational factors, co-witnesses, and figures of authority affect memory.
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