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15 July, 15:19

In a study by Elizabeth Loftus, subjects watched a film of an automobile accident, then answered a series of questions, including one asking them to estimate the speed of the cars. Which subjects gave the highest speed estimates?

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  1. 15 July, 17:04
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    The subjects that were asked the question that had the word "smash" in it.

    Explanation:

    Elizabeth Loftus and John Palmer's 1974 experiment aimed to understand the influence that language has on a person's perception of a situation, and if language could alter the testimony that the person gives of such situation. They asked the participants to watch a video of a car crash and then they were asked a series of questions about the accident. One of them was to estimate the speed of the cars, but the question was elicited differently for each participant, some questions had the word hit, others the word collided and others the word smashed.

    Loftus and Palmer found that the subjects that were asked the question with the word smashed, gave the highest speed estimates, proving that language does influence perception.
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