ANSWERS: 1
  • Violence distraction is a term describing the poor memory recall of witnesses of a violent scene. The violence and stress cause them to focus on the exciting bits and forget or ignore all the others. It's related to "weapons focus," wherein witnesses get so enthralled by the weapon a suspect is holding (like a gun or atomic bomb) that they forget details about the person waving it around. It is easier to remember someone holding an item that is inocuous and forgettable in and of itself, like a dollar bill, because the person holding it is more important to us. Just another nail in the coffin of the supposedly fool-proof method of eye-witness testimony. In truth, witnesses are easily fooled. Related to the Yerkes-Dodson law as well, a psychological principal that states moderate arousal makes for better performance than high levels of arousal. (Example: Oh, I have a 3 question homework assignment due tomorrow vs. Holy crap, a pop quiz!)

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