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Statistics say that eye witness testimony is the least reliable of all. Why is that?


Human fallability and the "prejudices" of perspective.

Something I view one view another.

We can be standing only inches apart and watch the same event unfold and yet interpret it differently.

What I see as (for example only) a man struggling with a may see as a woman struggling with a man....not much difference in what we see but how we view it.

Many times a witness will be asked up to the stand more then once to re-hash their "witnessing" go over the same material...and more then likely the "view" will change ever so slightly.

One minute, the man I saw running out of the burning buiding was wearing a red plaid shirt with a black bandanna...but after trying to visualize it some more...I realize that maybe he was wearing a black plaid shirt with a red bandanna??!!!

Our memories are about 75% real and 25% invented by our brain to "fill in the gaps" of the story.

That is why eye witnesses can so easily be "discounted".


Great answer, Trina. Thank you very much. That makes good sense...especially the part about 75% real/25% invented to fill the gaps. I'm going to remember that.


I suppose because individuals focus on different aspects of what they are viewing, and can only remember what they select to remember.

How reliable are statistics though?


Good point about how reliable stats are. I like your answer, though, it makes sense to me. Thank you very much, Danny!


I think that it is because some people will lie just because they are eye wittnesses, because they dont like one of the people. But that is just what I think.


And we're all interested in what you think, Caboose. You have some good solid insight. Thank you very much for your answer!


Yay!! people are interested in me!!lol j/k I am already loved by many offline. lol But more people never hurt.


Several reasons really, one is selective memory, humans tend to remember the highlights or what they want and some important things get left out, then there is how one percieves a situation, what is relavant to one, isnt to another, and of course many will embellish the scene. They may sometimes swear they seen something that really they didnt see, just to make a good story. Then there is just error. Dates and times when they saw something and things like that.


human error.we all remember things differently.certain things give us certain impressions.also others may change the way you remember may also change details the more you think about it.also, memory tends to change over time.


Very interesting point about memory tending to change over time. Thank you very much for your answer, Nalochic808!

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