The Allport and Postman (1945, 1947) study of rumour has been widely cited in support of the claim that expectations based upon racial stereotypes can cause eyewitnesses to make dramatic errors in perceiving or remembering an event. However, this claim is founded on inaccurate accounts of the study that have appeared throughout the eyewitness testimony literature. In this article we explore the implications of the actual Allport and Postman study, and the study as erroneously described, for questions about eyewitness performance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)