Book Review: Witness and Memory
Witness and Memory by Ana Douglass and Thomas A. Vogler is a thought-provoking book about the role of memory in the legal system. The authors provide a comprehensive overview of current research on memory and its fallibility, and then apply this knowledge to cases where eyewitness testimony has been crucial in determining guilt or innocence.
One of the strengths of this book is its accessibility. Although it deals with complex psychological concepts, the authors explain them in clear and easy-to-understand language. They also use real-life examples to illustrate their points, making it easier for readers to see how this research applies in the real world.
I was particularly struck by the chapter on false memories. The authors explain how our memories can be influenced by outside factors – such as leading questions or suggestion – and how these false memories can be just as vivid and compelling as real ones. This has important implications for criminal cases, where eyewitness testimony is often relied upon.
However, at times I found Witness and Memory to be repetitive. Certain points were made multiple times throughout the book, which could have been condensed for a more concise read. Additionally, some of the studies cited felt outdated since this book was published almost 20 years ago.
Overall though, Witness and Memory is an informative read that raises important questions about memory’s role in justice. It left me with much to ponder about the reliability of eyewitness testimony and the justice system itself. I am giving this book a score of 4 out of 5 stars!
Witness and Memory
publishedDate : 2003
authors : Ana Douglass, Thomas A. Vogler
publishers : Psychology Press
pageCount : 375
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Eyewitness Memory – Association for Psychological Science – APS
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