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Loftus et al., (1987)

Loftus et al., (1987) – Some Facts About “Weapon Focus”, Journal of Law and Human Behaviour 11 (1), 55–62



This is the second study we look at from the ‘Interviewing Witnesses’ section of ‘Making a case’. As part of your OCR A2 Psychology Exam. It is further categorised into ‘Weapons Focus and Factors Affecting Reconstruction.

“‘Weapon Focus’ refers to the concentration of a crime witness’s attention on a weapon, and the resultant reduction in ability to remember other details of the crime.”

When a weapon such as a gun is present during a crime. Witness recall of the offender is significantly reduced. The reason behind this is witnesses tend to focus on the weapon, not the offender. This is due to attentional narrowing, which Loftus believed is present due to evolution.

Good news! There is not a background study for this study!

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