Examining usefulness

Usefulness is how behaviour can be understood to create solutions for more accurate identification of suspects. Reliability is an issue as it must be high so that the research can be replicated to give similar results, so it is easier to understand behaviour. Christie and Ellis aimed to compare the effectiveness of recall of faces with photofit techniques. They found that verbal recall is more accurate than photofit images.

This means that identikits are not effective in identifying suspects as people tend to see the face as a whole, so results will be more varied and reducing the usefulness of identikits.Ecological validity is an issue when examining usefulness as it would allow us to predict how useful recall and recognition is in everyday situations. Fisher's study is high in ecological validity as it involved tasks that the detectives would conduct in their everyday jobs. 

High eco val means that we can predict how useful entikits and identity parades are in real life, and use any findings to improve their usage.BP2 – Evaluate the usefulness of research into factors affecting identification of a suspect or event (10)Usefulness is when the research into memory of an event or suspect can be used to help our understanding of the subject and what methods can be used to help increase our memory. 

Generalisability is an issue when examining the usefulness as the sample needs to be representative of the target population in order for the results to be useful. Loftus and Palmer only uses 45 P's, who are all students. This is low in generalisabilty as the sample is not representative of all the people that witness car accidents. 

This means that it is low in usefulness as the sample is not representative, meaning that the results cannot be generalised to everyone who is a witness to a car accident. Validity is when the research measures how memory of an event or suspect is affected by different factors, so altering how it demonstrates problems with identification. 

Confounding variables are an issue when looking at validity as variables affecting suspect identification and memory outside of our controls making research less likely to be what you set out to measure. In Pickel's study of weapons focus, confounding variables such as other distractions in the room whilst watching the videotape, may lead to distortion of memory and queries whether the weapon was the true distraction. This means that confounding variables affect eyewitness testimony which could have implications, lowering the validity of the study. 

Reliability is an issue when examining validity as research into eyewitness testimony as the research needs to be reliable so that the same results can be found each time with similar outcomes so that EWT are accurate in the courtroom to aid investigations and prevent innocent people from being wrongly convicted. Loftus et al showed participants two different films, P's only saw either the gun or cheque which makes it easy to compare the effect of weapons on testimony and makes the study easy to repeat. This means that different factors affect our memory, which may become distorted so reliability reduced.