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The sinking of M/V Estonia: An archival study of the survivors’ witness reports

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Emma Roos Af Hjelmsäter
Lisa Öhman
Pär-Anders Granhag
Publicerad i Nordic Psychology
Volym 68
Nummer/häfte 4
Sidor 244-256
ISSN 1901-2276
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Psykologiska institutionen
Sidor 244-256
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1080/19012276.2016.11...
Ämnesord archival study, eyewitness testimony, traumatic event, memory, accident investigation
Ämneskategorier Tillämpad psykologi

Sammanfattning

Most previous eyewitness research has been experimental, and studies examining real events are few. The present study examined eyewitness reports from a real-life, extremely stressful event; the sinking of the passenger ship Estonia in 1994. We analysed the police reports from 131 survivors (age 12–72, 82% men) through a thematic analysis. The results showed that of what could be controlled, most reports were accurate. Thus, this study indicates that eyewitness reports from such a life-threatening event may be reliable. Also, as in previous studies, many reports were fragmentary or incomplete. However, as the survivors reported different aspects, it was possible to obtain more complete information about the event by adding together reports from several persons. This indicates that reports from several persons should be collected in order to achieve a full understanding of events like this. The results provide much needed archival research to complement experimental studies on witnesses’ memory performance.

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