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Abstract

Applied Cognitive Psychology has been at the forefront in publishing papers on the range of questioning and interrogation techniques that can induce either relatively accurate recall or lead to false memories. Wade et al's latest study illustrates the compelling effects of viewing false visual information on witness memory and beliefs. Participants gambled with a confederate who was later alleged to have cheated. Some saw a digitally manipulated record showing the accomplice cheating, while others were merely told the recording existed. Subsequently, they were informed that the authorities wished to take action and were asked whether they would sign an affidavit that they themselves had actually witnessed the accomplice cheating. Those who had seen the recording were three times more likely to sign the statement than those who had merely been told of its existence. It seems that in the age of Photoshop and Facebook, the compelling impact of images on our cognitions is only just beginning to be understood.