Fast car

From dr. Pascal burgmer, prof. Dr. Kristina musholt& dr. Dana Schneider

i know how you feel: are narcissists as empathetic as they claim to be?

By peter eric heinze& prof. Dr. Ramzi fatfouta

Do we know each other? The problem of perceiving others

From prof. Dr. Christian tewes& dr. Alexander nicolai wendt

look, i give you the choice! – socially mindful behavior as a sign of prosociality and perspective taking in everyday life

From dr. Dorothee mischkowski

Are we neutral observers? – why we understand the same behavior differently in linda and kemal.

By jana mangels& carsten sander

Your sorrow is my sorrow? How we empathize with the emotions of others.

By helena hartmann, dr. Markus rutgen& prof. Dr. Claus lamm

How do children learn to understand others and how can parents support them??

From dr. Tobias schuwerk

RUMMS or pling – how fast was the car in the accident??

  • From dr. Jens hellmann

Many people not only assume that their memory and their ability to communicate by means of language are particularly differentiated and thus represent unique selling points of humans in the animal world. Another widely held view is that the human memory is excellent at storing what we have experienced and that we can therefore retrieve it at will via conscious memories .

A broken car

A broken car by jens hellmann (private photo of the author) attentive readers of in- mind will know by now that our memory does not work at all like a video camera, which can record impressions of the other senses in addition to what we can see and hear. Rather, human memory is subject to social constructions that can be controlled, among other things, by differences in language. in a publication from 1974, now considered classic in scientific psychology, eliz abeth loftus and john palmer describe several experiments in which they were able to show an influence of very small changes in language on a statement about a previously perceived event. Specifically, they showed test subjects a video in which several cars were involved in an accident after hitting each other head-on. The test subjects were first asked to retell what they had seen in their own words. Subsequently, the participants in the survey were asked for their assessment of the speed of the cars involved. Only the verb in a question that the subjects were asked to answer was the central manipulation in this case . There were five versions in total: some test participants had to answer how fast the cars were when they contacted each other . Others were asked how fast the cars were going when they collided with each other, bumped into each other or hit each other . the people in the fifth group were finally asked how fast the cars were going when they crashed into each other ( smashed into ).

A comparison of the speed estimates of the groups that received the verbs contact and crash into each other showed average estimates of 31.8 miles per hour ("contacted") compared to 40.8 miles per hour ("crashed into each other") statistically significant differences on.

Even if some replication attempts of these studies obviously could not clearly confirm the original results, conclusions from the study of loftus and palmer are still valid in my view, at least for the time being: especially when questioning witnesses, language should be chosen carefully so that testimonies are not distorted too much by the way the question is asked.

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