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Facilitating particularisation of repeated similar events with context-specific cues

Journal article
Authors Rebecca M. Willén
Pär-Anders Granhag
Leif Strömwall
Ronald Fisher
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Psychology
Volume 56
Issue 1
Pages 28-37
ISSN 0036-5564
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 28-37
Language en
Keywords rättspsykologi, förhörsteknik, minne, intervjuteknik, upprepade händelser
Subject categories Applied Psychology


Ninety-five dental care patients participated in a quasi-experiment in which they were interviewed twice about dental visits they had made during the past ten years. Objective truth was established by analysing their dental records. The main purpose of the study was to investigate to what extent context-specific cues could facilitate particularisation (i.e., recollection of events and details) of repeated and similar events. A mixed design was employed and the effects of three types of cues were explored: two types of context-specific cues vs. cues commonly used in police practise when interviewing plaintiffs. In line with our hypothesis, context-specific cues tended to be more effective for recollection of individual events than the comparison cues. In addition, context-specific cues generated more details than the comparison cues and the difference was marginally significant. Rehearsal of the memories by telling them to others was associated with an increased number of recollected events and details. The results are discussed from a legal psychology perspective with focus on recollection of repeated abuse.

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