MISINFORMATION AND MEMORY: VIRTUAL REALITIES EFFECT ON THE MISINFORMATION EFFECT

Open Access
Author:
Koenig, Carly Devon
Area of Honors:
Letters, Arts, and Sciences (Abington)
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jacob Arthur Benfield, Thesis Supervisor
  • Michael Jason Bernstein, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • misinformation effect
  • memory
  • virtual reality
Abstract:
Eyewitness testimony is a key tool used in our justice system but how reliable is it? That has been the question surrounding research for decades. People’s memories are susceptible to misinformation from outside sources (Loftus, Miller, & Burns, 1978) and this effect has been analyzed in many different contexts for more than thirty years. Traditionally the misinformation effect has been studied using two dimensional videos or photographs. New virtual reality technology has been creating more efficient ways to study real life situations in controlled laboratory environments and have been shown to be highly immersive. The current study analyzes the misinformation effect in a virtual reality setting in hopes of showing that an immersive environment will enhance the misinformation effect in a traditional research design. The current study utilizes the classic event of a car accident to test the misinformation effect. The use of virtual reality can also expand research about eye witness testimony in situations that may not be able to be efficiently replicated two dimensional models.