This study greatly emphasizes the importance of manipulating language in memory recall. Memory is often adjusted and modified in one’s day-to-day life. One way one’s memory is reconstructed is through the different formatting of a question with alternated key words that dominate how one recalls a specific event. Schema theory, which suggests that individuals interpret their experiences by using relevant schemas, was first coined by Jean Piaget, in 1926. Schemas are organizational units which help to categorize information, we encounter, to assist memory recall and make sense of our current experiences. He proposed that children learn through already existing schemas which are either modified or replaced.Loftus and Palmer (1974) took one step further and suggested that an individual has “one” memory but two pieces of information that he needs to deal with.
The first information is the one that is extracted from the original source when being perceived; the second is the information which is suggested or provided as a fact after the event has been observed. When the second piece of information is integrated and stored in the same “memory”, the first information is often modified. Overtime, it becomes difficult to distinguish between where the specific details of information came from. The researchers conducted two experiments, but the second one is relevant to this experiment.
A large group of students were shown a film depicting a car accident and were provided with a questionnaire subsequent to that. Questions consisted of “how fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other,” while other subjects were asked the same question with the verb hit; question related to vehicular speed (km/h) was also asked. A week later, the subjects had to answer a yes/no question asking, “did you see any broken glass?” without reviewing the film.
The findings indicated that more subjects with the question with verb smashed estimated higher speeds (km/h) than those who were given hit. Findings reveal that just by manipulating verbs in a question, an individual’s memory recall is effected. Moreover, broken glass is closely linked to severe accident, because more subjects with the verb smashed, as compared to the hit group, assumed a broken glass to be present in the accident?even when it was not.The present study aimed to investigate the effect of verb alternation between smashed and contacted on the memory recall of a car crash. The independent variable is the verbs smashed and hit substituted in the absence of another in the same question in a questionnaire. The dependent variable is the memory recall of the estimated speed (km/h) of the cars when they got involved in the car crash. It is very useful to understand the importance of how just one modification in a sentence can change an individual’s outlook on the event.
If one is inquired about a movie trailer after viewing it, and just by changing the perspective of that person on the movie through a positive language manipulation, one would convince the individual to watch the actual movie. This can markedly profit companies who make those movies.H0 = There is no significant difference between the participants’ estimated speeds (km/h) whether they be given the verb smashed or hit, when the cars got involved in the car crash.H1 = Participants who were asked the question with smashed as compared to hit will estimate higher speeds (km/h) the cars were travelling at before they became involved in the car crash.