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Which interviewing approach is most efficient when asking intoxicated witnesses questions about a crime?

Conference contribution
Authors Angelica Hagsand
Nadja Schreiber Compo
Marien Fernandez
Luisa Bittencourt
Andrea Wolfs
Amelia M. Jafary
Jacqueline R. Evans
Published in The 6th annual forensic science symposium at the International Forensic Research Institute Symposium
Place of publication Miami, USA
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords intoxicated witnesses, alcohol, investigative interview method, recall, interactive event
Subject categories Applied Psychology


Many witnesses and victims are intoxicated, but few studies have examined how alcohol affects eyewitness memory. The present study compared the effects of different interview approaches on intoxicated witnesses’ recall of an interactive event. Participants were randomly assigned to a condition within a 3 (Intoxication level: sober vs. placebo vs. intoxicated) x 3 (Interview technique: positive vs. negative vs. mixed) between-participants design. Participants consumed three beverages (as defined based on their intoxication condition), were involved in an interactive event, and were interviewed immediately using positive (i.e., free recall, open-ended questions), negative (i.e., closed questions, yes or no questions) or mixed (i.e., a mix between the positive and negative approaches) interviewing approaches. Data-collection is ongoing, but preliminary findings suggest that regardless of intoxication level, all witnesses benefit from a positive interview approach. Intoxicated witnesses also report more details in total, but recall more incorrect details compared to sober or placebo witnesses.

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

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