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Protecting Eyewitness Evidence: Examining the Efficacy of a Self-Administered Interview Tool

Abstract

Given the crucial role of eyewitness evidence, statements should be obtained as soon as possible after an incident. This is not always achieved due to demands on police resources. Two studies trace the development of a new tool, the Self-Administered Interview (SAI), designed to elicit a comprehensive initial statement. In Study 1, SAI participants reported more correct details than participants who provided a free recall account, and performed at the same level as participants given a Cognitive Interview. In Study 2, participants viewed a simulated crime and half recorded their statement using the SAI. After a delay of 1 week, all participants completed a free recall test. SAI participants recalled more correct details in the delayed recall task than control participants.

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Acknowledgement

Preparation of this manuscript was supported by grants from the British Academy.

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Correspondence to Fiona Gabbert.

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Gabbert, F., Hope, L. & Fisher, R.P. Protecting Eyewitness Evidence: Examining the Efficacy of a Self-Administered Interview Tool. Law Hum Behav 33, 298–307 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10979-008-9146-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10979-008-9146-8

Keywords

  • Police investigation
  • Police interview
  • Eyewitness memory
  • Witness statement
  • Eyewitness testimony