International Roundtable on Memory

Eyewitness Memory Research Utilizing the MORI Technique

Jointly organized with the 12th Annual Convention of JSCP
Supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from JSPS (Grant No.25280050)



1. Venue: Sendai International Center

2. Date: Saturday June 28th, 2014

3. Invited Speakers

4. Organizer

  • Kazuo Mori, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

5. Program ***** Please note: The starting time has been changed. *****

  • Special Lecture: 13:00-14:00 (Shirakashi Hall: 3F)
    "Memory: Problems for the law"
    • Chair:
      Kazuo Mori, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
    • Speaker:
      Maryanne Garry, Victoria University of Wellington
      • Many people think memory works like a digital camera, a misconception that causes problems for for the law. In fact , both well-established and recent scientific research shows that memories are stories we tell ourselves and each other, a blend of reality and fiction that keeps us happy, bonds us together—and sometimes sends innocent people to prison. In this talk, I’ll examine the causes and consequences of memory distortions, especially as they relate to the legal settings.
  • Symposium: 14:40-17:00 (Room #3: 1F)
    "Eyewitness Memory Research Utilizing the MORI Technique"
    • Chair:
      Kazuo Mori, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
    • Contributors:
    1. Shin-Ichi Kita, Kobe University 14:45-
      "Re-examination of the eyewitness conformity with the MORI protocol: beyond culture and custom"
      • The present study is conducted to evaluate the results obtained in Garry et al. (2008) in different culture and custom. We employed the MORI protocol consisting of three phases: viewing, discussing and recollecting two scenes slightly different each other. Forty Japanese observers participated in the experiment of the protocol with a situation which was not familiar with Japanese people. Despite this cultural difference, we obtained result similar to the previous study conducted in New Zealand, in which discussed items were recollected less correctly than non-discussed items. This similarity beyond the cultural difference indicates the universality of the eyewitness conformity.
    2. Tomoka Tainaka, Kyoto Notre Dame University 15:05-
      "Witnesses with low self-esteem tended to conform more frequently to their co-witnesses"
      • The research purpose of the present study was to examine how self-esteem may effect on memory conformity in female university students using the witness conformity paradigm. Twenty-four pairs of students of Kyoto Notre Dame University participated in the MORI witness experiment. The participants answered question items in the Self-Esteem questionnaires first. Then, they watched a video event in the MORI paradigm. After watching the video, they recalled what they observed in a collaborative way. We classified the participants into Low Self-Esteem group and High Self-Esteem group according to their answering patterns in the questionnaires. Their memory performances showed that Low Self-Esteem participants conformed to others more frequently than those with High Self-Esteem.
    3. Fiona Jack, University of Otago 15:25-
      "The age of conformity: The effect of socially-encountered misinformation on adolescents’ eyewitness reports."
      • Over the past two decades, many researchers have examined the factors that influence children’s ability to provide evidence in legal settings, leading to significant reform in policy and practice. In contrast, very little research has been conducted with adolescents, even though adolescents are still undergoing important changes in both brain maturation and social development. For example, research has shown that adolescents may be more likely than children or adults to exhibit social conformity. With this in mind, it is important to consider how socially-encountered misinformation might influence adolescents’ eyewitness reports. Two common social sources of misinformation are interviewers’ questions and discussion with other witnesses to the same event. We used the MORI paradigm to look at what happens to children’s, adolescents’, and adults’ event recall after they are exposed to misinformation from either or both of these sources. Aspects of our results suggest that adolescents might be particularly susceptible to the influence of these types of misinformation.
    4. Kazuo Mori, Tokyo Unviersity of Agriculture and Technology 15:45-
      "An earwitness conformity experiment using a modified MORI Technique"
      • The present study aimed to replicate the Garry, et al. study (2008) in the auditory modality. Twenty-four undergraduate pairs participated as witnesses to a simulated criminal event. Although they watched the same video together, through wireless headphones they experienced two different auditory versions without being aware of the discrepancies. After the presentation, they were led to discuss half of the items that they had heard differently. The results showed that participants conformed to their co-witness more often on the discussed items than on the not-discussed items. Source monitoring analyses revealed that those participants who conformed were mostly cognizant of the source just after the discussion, but they were prone to source monitoring errors a week later.
    5. Brittany A. Cardwell, Victoria University of Wellington 16:05-
      "Non-probative photos promote the truthiness of positive claims, but not negative claims"
      • Non-probative photos cause "truthiness," making people think associated claims are true. But to what extent does the valence of the claim matter? People saw several fictitious wine names and judged whether a claim about each was true. Some people judged the claim wines were “high quality”, and others judged the claim wines were “low quality”. When wine names appeared with related photos people responded true more often to the positive claim, but not the negative claim. This pattern fits with the idea that photos boost the ease with which people bring related information to mind—an experience people interpret as evidence that information is positive and true.
    • General Discussion 16:40-17:00
  • Reception: 18:00-20:00 (Venue to be announced)


  • The registration fees for presenters.
    • Professors: 16,000 Yen
    • Students: 6,000 Yen
  • The registration fee for participants. Free.
  • The registration fees should be transferred to the following Japan Post Account: IROM Jikko Iinkai #00150-9-485969

For further information, send inquiry to Kaz Mori.