The misinformation effect states that when subjects are given verbal misleading postevent information after viewing an event, their memory for that event is seriously deteriorated. In this article, studies on the misinformation effect in the field of eyewitness research since Loftus (1974) are reviewed. First, the effects of postevent information and the research methods which were established and developed by Loftus and her colleagues (e.g., Loftus, Miller, & Burns, 1978) are introduced. Second, the modified recognition test developed by McCloskey & Zaragoza (1985a) to criticize the standard original recognition test is addressed, followed by a review of studies in which the modified recognition test was used to examine the misinformation effect. Third, studies examining the modified recognition test itself are scrutinized. Lastly, studies (e.g., Zaragoza & Lane, 1994) which introduced the source monitoring approach are reviewed. Theoretical positions such as the substitution hypothesis, the coexistence hypothesis, the bias hypothesis explaining the misinformation effect are also considered.
In the case where eyewitnesses are asked to identify a person through a photo-spread or lineup, eyewitnesses are usually required to describe the person verbally beforehand. The verbal descriptions are used to judge the reliability of following identification. However, are verbal descriptions of faces diagnostic of identification reliability? And do verbal descriptions affect identification reliability? Several psychological studies have given negative answers to the first question, but a naturalistic experiment suggests the diagnostic usefulness of verbal descriptions. As for the second question, psychological experiments suggest that the possibility of both facilitating and inhibiting effects of verbal description on identification. The factors required to use such psychological research in a practical area, such as a court judgment, are discussed.
A new experimental technique has been invented in which two different events can be presented independently to a pair of subjects sitting side-by-side in front of the same screen so as to make them believe that they are watching the same event simultaneously. Two video projectors with polarizing filters diagonal to each other projected different moving pictures on the same screen. These were observed by a pair of subjects wearing polarizing sunglasses suitable for one or the other video projector. Using this experimental technique, thirty pairs of undergraduates observed basically the same event but three nonconforming points were included. Each pair of subjects were asked to report individually on what they had seen— Pre-Discussion Report. Then they were allowed to discuss the event they had just observed, and were asked to report again— Post-Discussion Report. Subjects were invited to come to the laboratory a week later to report what they had seen the week before— Week-Later Report. Fifteen pairs of the subjects were instructed to come to agreement during the discussion whereas the other fifteen pairs were simply instructed to discuss what they had seen. In the Week-Later Report, subjects in the former group tended to change their memory of the event, either consciously or subconsciously, whereas this tendency was much less in the latter group. In general, the Post-Discussion Reports were more complete than the Pre-Discussion Reports, that is, the discussion inproved the subjects' memory of the events.
Remembering through discourse between witness and inquisitor was discussed from the viewpoint of daily joint-remembering study. Discourse-analysis of remembering revealed dynamics, which is peculiar to joint-remebering. Specifically, the logic of inquisitor (=listener), who did not experienced original event, had an influence on remembering of witness. This logic was based on “general rationality”. It was suggested that such rationality can leads inaccurate remembering. Especially, in the case where the original event has manifold meanings that make it difficult to put into words, such inaccuracy will be great. Furthermore, a dichotomy of input style distinguished by it's intention and aim, “storage-focused input” / “output-focused input”, was proposed. It seems this difference in input style influences their storage and output. The storage by “output-focused input” must be categorized more clearly and solidly than that by “storage-focused input”. Therefore, the storage by “output-focused input” will be put into words more easily than that by “storage-focused input”. This is significant in a joint-remembering situation as stated above. In other words, the difference between “storage-focused input” and “output-focused input” influences the possibility of leading inaccurate remembering in a joint-remembering situation.
This paper argues that there are rather unexpected fundamental connections to be made between the principles of language and the laws governing the inorganic world. After summarizing the major development of economy principles in physics and the basic results of discrete optimization problems in combinatorial mathematics, I will argue that the economy principles which theoretical linguists are currently trying to discover in the theory of language are something comparable to the Principle of Least Action in physics. This provides us with a concrete interpretation of the point Chomsky has repeatedly made (Chomsky, 1991a,b, passim), i.e., language, despite its biological nature, shares the fundamental property of the inorganic world; it is designed for “elegance,” not for efficient use. I will then discuss the nature of two types of economy principles of language proposed in the literature, “economy of derivation” and “economy of representation,” from the point of view of the theory of computational complexity, and claim that the two economy principles exhibit quite different properties with respect to their computational complexities: economy of representation is efficiently solvable and therefore seems to be in the complexity class P in the sense of the theory of computational complexity, whereas economy of derivation is fundamentally computationally intractable and appears to belong to the class NP-P. How, then, can language be ever used, if its fundamental property (economy of derivation) poses an intractable optimization problem? I will suggest that language is equipped with certain mechanisms, the real-world counterparts of the “heuristic algorithms” studied in the theory of optimization, that facilitate its efficient use. Thus, to the extent that these mechanisms are available, language becomes usable, despite its fundamental computational intractability.
Currently, we have developed a basic framework of general narrative generation system for the purpose of supporting human creative tasks. In this paper, we examine the narrative conceptual generation process by computer through analysing a short detective story. As a result of the analysis, we could devide narrative structure into three aspects; story, plot and construction. While the story is an events sequence that was arranged according to a temporal order in a narrative world, the plot is an events sequence that was reorganized by an order which each event is introduced into a narrative. The construction is the most detailed conceptual representation. A narrative generation process is performed by expanding or transforming a tree structure through these levels. In this paper, we introduce some kinds of relational knowledge that operates the narrative tree based on the analysis.