Witness and Memory

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 Additionally, some of the studies cited felt outdated since this book was published almost 20 years ago.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!

See also  The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology

Witness and Memory

publishedDate : 2003

authors : Ana Douglass, Thomas A. Vogler

publishers : Psychology Press

pageCount : 375

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Witness And Memory


Witness And Memory

Author by : Ana Douglass
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2003
Publisher by : Psychology Press

ISBN :

Description : This collection deals with the anthropology of violence & witness studies, covering topics ranging from Rigoberat Menchu to O.J. Simpson, & from feminist poetry to Hiroshima Mon Amour....






Witness And Memory


Witness And Memory

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Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2012-11-12
Publisher by : Routledge

ISBN :

Description : This is a collection within the anthropology of violence and witness studies, a discipline inaugurated in the 1980s. It accomplishes a tight focus while tackling seemingly disparate topics: from Rigoberat Menchu to O.J. Simpson, and from feminist poetry to Hiroshima Mon Amour. With approaches ranging from anthropological and historical to literary and philosophical, this collection is engaging in both subject matter and writing style....






Witness


Witness

Author by : Frederik Tygstrup
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2008
Publisher by : Museum Tusculanum Press

ISBN :

Description : Witness is an anthology comprising 40 critical essays from an international cast of researchers who engage with a complex set of questions concerning notions of witnessing and attestation in 20th- and 21st-century Western culture. The contributors provide insightful perspectives on the subject of witnessing and suggest how this vital yet relatively unexplored concept lends itself to a wide range of media and subject areas. The essays critically reconsider existing scholarly tendencies which focus on historical evidence and the witness' vocalization of true remembrance. They do this by establishing important links with canonical texts, images, and voices within a theoretical and interpretive framework where questions of mediation, memorization, and representation are addressed....






Communities Of Memory


Communities Of Memory

Author by : William James Booth
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2006
Publisher by : Cornell University Press

ISBN :

Description : "Memory has fueled merciless, violent strife, and it has been at the core of reconciliation and reconstruction. It has been used to justify great crimes, and yet it is central to the pursuit of justice. In these and more everyday ways, we live surrounded by memory, individual and social: in our habits, our names, the places where we live, street names, libraries, archives, and our citizenship, institutions, and laws. Still, we wonder what to make of memory and its gifts, though sometimes we are hardly even certain that they are gifts. Of the many chambers in this vast palace, I mean to ask particularly after the place of memory in politics, in the identity of political communities, and in their practices of doing justice."--from the Preface W. James Booth seeks to understand the place of memory in the identity, ethics, and practices of justice of political communities. Identity is, he believes, a particular kind of continuity across time, one central to the possibility of agency and responsibility, and memory plays a central role in grounding that continuity. Memory-identity takes two forms: a habitlike form, the deep presence of the past that is part of a life-led-in-common; and a more fragile, vulnerable form in which memory struggles to preserve identity through time--notably in bearing witness--a form of memory work deeply bound up with the identity of political communities. Booth argues that memory holds a defining place in determining how justice is administered. Memory is tied to the very possibility of an ethical community, one responsible for its own past, able to make commitments for the future, and driven to seek justice. "Underneath (and motivating) the politics of memory, understood as contests over the writing of history, over memorials, museums, and canons," he writes, "there lies an intertwining of memory, identity, and justice." Communities of Memory both argues for and maps out that intertwining....






Eyewitness Testimony


Eyewitness Testimony

Author by : Elizabeth F. Loftus
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 1996
Publisher by : Harvard University Press

ISBN :

Description : By shedding light on the many factors that can intervene and create inaccurate testimony, Elizabeth Loftus illustrates how memory can be radically altered by the way an eyewitness is questioned, and how new memories can be implanted and old ones changed in subtle ways....






Witness For The Defense


Witness For The Defense

Author by : Elizabeth F. Loftus
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 1991
Publisher by : Macmillan

ISBN :

Description : Includes material on the case of Steve Titus, Ted Bundy, Timothy Hennis, Tony Herrerez, Howard Haupt, Clarence Von Williams, John Demjanjuk, and Tyrone Briggs....






Understanding Eyewitness Memory


Understanding Eyewitness Memory

Author by : Sean M. Lane
Languange Used : en
Release Date : 2021-05-25
Publisher by : NYU Press

ISBN :

Description : An essential overview of how perception and memory affect eyewitness testimony In 1981, sixteen-year-old Michael Williams was convicted on charges of aggravated rape based on the victim’s eyewitness testimony. No other evidence was found linking him to the attack. After nearly twenty-four years, Williams was released after three separate DNA analyses proved his innocence. The victim still maintains that Williams was the culprit. This heartbreaking case is but one example of eyewitness error. In Understanding Eyewitness Memory, Sean M. Lane and Kate A. Houston delve into the science of eyewitness memory. They examine a number of important topics, from basic research on perception and memory to the implications of this research on the quality and accuracy of eyewitness evidence. The volume answers questions such as: How do we remember and describe people we’ve encountered? What is the nature of false and genuine memories? How do emotional arousal and stress affect what we remember? Understanding Eyewitness Memory offers a brilliant overview of how memory and psychology affect eyewitness testimony, where quality and accuracy can mean the difference between wrongful imprisonment and true justice....






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