Eyewitness suggestibility: The effects of co-witness information, accuracy feedback and source monitoring

Bianca Moehlmann, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

In the present research, 120 participants witnessed a live, staged crime (i.e., the theft of a wallet). Participants were then interviewed by a confederate-interviewer who provided information about what other witnesses had supposedly said (i.e., co-witness information). In some instances the information was correct, in others incorrect. After participants responded to the interview questions, the interviewer also provided accuracy feedback. Results indicated that co-witness information had an immediate effect on participants' memory accuracy. In addition, both co-witness information and feedback had a delayed effect on participants' memory accuracy. Specifically, responses to Leading Correct questions were more accurate, and responses to Leading Incorrect questions were less accurate than responses to Neutral questions. Findings have implications for forensic settings, suggesting that eyewitnesses' memory can be impacted when interviewers provide information about what other witnesses said, and give feedback to witnesses' statements. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Sociology, Criminology and Penology|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Moehlmann, Bianca, "Eyewitness suggestibility: The effects of co-witness information, accuracy feedback and source monitoring" (2003). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAIEP10371.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAIEP10371

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