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Flashcards in Improving the accuracy of eyewitness testimony Deck (24):

What two methods are used to improve the accuracy of eyewitness testimony?

The cognitive interview and the enhanced cognitive interview


What is the cognitive interview?

A procedure for police questioning of witnesses that promotes accurate, detailed recall of events


What is the general aim of the cognitive interview?

To increase the accuracy of memories and the amount of accurate detail produced


What are the four components of the CI?

Change of narrative order
Change of perspective
Mental reinstatement of context
Report everything


Explain "change of narrative order"

Recall the event in different chronological orders, e.g. from end to beginning


Explain "change of perspective"

Recall the event from different people's perspectives, e.g. from the offenders' point of view


Explain "mental reinstatement of context"

Recall both the environmental and emotional context of the event, e.g. weather and personal feelings (cue-dependent forgetting)


Explain "report everything"

Recall all information, even that which seemingly has little relevance or that which is remembered less confidently or seems incomplete


Who developed the cognitive interview and whose ideas is it based on?

Fisher and Geiselman (1992); based on Tulving's idea that there are several retrieval paths to each memory


What was the cognitive interview designed for?

To improve recall in police interviews through memory retrieval and communication techniques


What is Tulving and Thomson's Encoding Specificity theory?

Memory traces are made up of several features, and to enhance recall, as many retrieval cues as possible should be used. Context provides cues tat increase feature overlap between initial witnessing and subsequent retrieval contexts. All four elements of the CI are engineered to trigger accurate memory recall


Who found that the Ci procedure produced more accurate, detailed memories than the SPI technique?

Geiselman et al.


What is the enhanced cognitive interview?

An advanced method of questioning witnesses that overcomes problems caused by inappropriate sequencing of questions


What does the ECI seek?

It seeks to build a trusting relationship between interviewer and witness and improve the quality of communication between the two


What are the important extra features of the ECI?

The interviewer does not distract the witness with unnecessary interruptions or questions
The witness controls the flow of information
Asking open-ended questions
Getting the witness to speak slowly
Reminding the witness not to guess, and encouraged to say they don't know rather than guess and make confabulations
Reducing anxiety in the witness


What is the modified cognitive interview (MCI)?

An amended form of the CI


Who are modified cognitive interviews normally used on, what percentage of all MCIs are designed for this group, and what elements are modified?

Children; 45%; the change of perspective and narrative order elements are removed because children are seen as too young to effectively empathise with others


Other than for use on children, why do the police use modified cognitive interviews?

The CI and ECI are too long for daily police use, so a MCI is used because omitting the change of perspective and narrative order components makes it quicker and more practical


Who found that the performance of police officers gathering facts was superior when using the ECI than using the SPI?

Fisher et al.


Who conducted a study on children aged between 4-5 and 9-10 and what did they find?

Holliday: A day after viewing a five-minute video of a child's birthday party, the children interviewed using the MCI produced more accurate detail than the SPI


What do the CI, ECI and MCI produce more of than the SPI?

Confabulations (false memories)


What did Memon et al. find that police officers thought?

The change of perspective component misleads witnesses into speculating about the event witnessed, which leads to officers using this component less


What percentage of each interview type did Memon et al. find police used by performing a meta-analysis on police databases?

CI: 32%

ECI: 23%

MCI: 45%


What are two other methods of increasing the accuracy of memory recall?

Mnemonics: Organising information to develop links to existing memories so that retrieval of a familiar item leads to the recall of less familiar items

Active processing: Subjecting material to deep and meaningful processing which improves recall instead of passive, unthinking encoding of information