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Alcohol and witness memory

Conference contribution
Authors Nadja Schreiber Compo
Rolando N. Carol
Katherine Hoogesteyn
Chris Altman
Angelica Hagsand
Jacqueline R. Evans
H. Holness
K. Furton
Stefan Rose
Published in Plenary presentation at the 5th annual forensic science symposium at the International Forensic Research Institute Symposium (IFRI). Miami, USA.
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Links ifri.fiu.edu/news/2016/ifri-symposi...
Keywords alcohol intoxication, memory, investigative interviewing
Subject categories Psychology, Applied Psychology

Abstract

A considerable number of witnesses and victims of crime are under the influence of alcohol. Both expert witnesses and jurors believe that alcohol impairs witness memory and a large body of research on alcohol's effect on basic cognitive processes suggests impairment. Only recently has research begun to investigate whether these basic research findings translate into real-world investigative contexts and under which circumstances intoxicated witnesses are impaired when remembering faces and entire events. Surprisingly, both field and lab studies suggest that alcohol may have little effect on witnesses' ability to remember a face or details of an event. Recent research further suggests that memory for faces may not be affected even at high breath alcohol levels. There is some evidence that how investigators interview intoxicated witnesses and whether witnesses are sober or intoxicated at time of the witness interview may affect the quality and quantity of their recall. Implications of this research for real-world investigative interviewing practices and policies are discussed.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012
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