Consider eyewitness testimony, a facet of the judicial system that relies on the soundness of memory for its effectiveness. The following story demonstrates the grave consequences inherent in certain kinds of memory distortion.
In the days following Jennifer Thompsonâ€s 1984 rape by an unknown assailant, law enforcement officials presented her with a â€œphotographic lineup.â€ It was composed of local individuals who loosely fit Thompsonâ€s description, including one man the police considered a likely suspect in the attack. Police and the prosecution relied on Thompsonâ€s eyewitness testimony as a critical building block in the case against Ronald Cotton. Thompsonâ€s memory-based selection of Cottonâ€s image eventually brought him to trial as a defendant.
Jennifer Thompsonâ€s eyewitness testimony led to the conviction of Ronald Cotton for rape. Thompson described memorizing the details her attackerâ€s appearance that fateful night so that she might later help to catch him. Based on Thompsonâ€s testimony, the prosecution won, and Cotton received a sentence of life plus 54 years in prison.
After serving nearly 11 years, Cotton was exonerated on the basis of DNA evidence. In the years since Cottonâ€s release from prison, he and Thompson have reconciled. They now travel together throughout the United States, speaking about the lack of reliability of eyewitness testimony in criminal cases. Unreliable eyewitness accounts of crimes serve as one example of memory distortion. Consider factors in the Cotton case that may have affected the accuracy of Thompsonâ€s memory.
In this Discussion, you examine factors that might influence and create distortions of memory. You also explain potential consequences of memory distortion on eyewitness testimony.
With these thoughts in mind:In this Discussion, you examine factors that might influence and create distortions of memory. You also explain potential consequences of memory distortion on eyewitness testimony.
Write a brief description of factors that might influence and create distortions of memory. Then explain how one of those factors might create a memory distortion. Provide an example to support your response. Finally, explain three consequences of memory distortion in the context of eyewitness testimony. Justify your response using the Learning Resources and current literature.
Imagine a baby learning words for the first time from immediate family members and close relatives. Picture a group of adolescents preparing for an exam in a second language. Envision adults using language-learning software before travel to a foreign country. Consider the effects of biology and environment on language acquisition in these examples.
Compare the ease of learning oneâ€s native language as a child to the acquisition of a second language as a teenager or an adult. Do some individuals pick up new languages more easily than others? Do some children acquire language skills more readily? What might answers to these questions indicate as to the contributions of biological and environmental factors to language acquisition?
For this Discussion, select one biological and one environmental factor that influence native and second language acquisition. Consider how each factor might influence both native and second language acquisition.
With these thoughts in mind:
select one biological and one environmental factor that influence native and second language acquisition. Consider how each factor might influence both native and second language acquisition.
Write a description of the biological and environmental factors that you selected. Then explain how each might influence native and second language acquisition. Provide examples to support your response.
He never learned to speak more than a few words, but he developed some sensitivity to sounds and mastered table manners and polite comportment.â€ (Douthwaite, 2002, p. 21)
Here, Douthwaite describes historical accounts of a feral child discovered in Germany and taken in to live out his life under the care of â€œcivilizedâ€ keepers. Psychologists and neurologists have long devoted attention to cases of â€œwild children,â€ those who begin maturation outside of human society, with little or no human contact. Cases involving such children inform understanding of the cognitive processes inherent to language development. Consider how the effects of environmental deprivation compare to the effects of deafness on the development of language. Another influence on language production and comprehension is neurological disruption.For example, strokesâ€”brain damage due to blockage of blood supply or hemorrhageâ€”have helped to differentiate important sites in the brain, as well as their functional implications.
For this Discussion, consider influences of environmental deprivation, deafness, and neurological disruption on language acquisition, production, and comprehension.
Write an explanation of how environmental deprivation, deafness, and neurological disruption (e.g., stroke or brain injury) might influence language acquisition, production, or comprehension. Provide examples for each to support your response.
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