The effect of co -witness information on witnesses' memory reports in investigative interviews
The present research examined the influence of co-witness information, provided by the interviewer, on the memory reports of witnesses to a live, staged robbery. Memory reports were obtained from participants in an interview immediately after the staged robbery and in a questionnaire one week later. During the interview, participants were told what other witnesses to the robbery bad supposedly said (i.e., co-witness information). The results indicated that the co-witness information exerted an influence on participants' memory reports immediately after the robbery and one week later. However, if participants were instructed to ignore the co-witness information at the one-week re-test, they were largely effective in doing so. These results suggest that police interviewers can inadvertently contaminate the crime reports of eyewitnesses by telling them what other witnesses have already said.
Psychology|Experiments|Social psychology|Cognitive therapy
Corey, Debra Lynn, "The effect of co -witness information on witnesses' memory reports in investigative interviews" (2000). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI9997668.