Same interviewer, better memories | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Same interviewer, better memories

5:50pm, February 3, 2004

As a case proceeds, police officers, lawyers, and others may interview children who witness a crime. However, youngsters may remember details more accurately if the same person conducts successive interviews with them, according to a study in the September/October Applied Cognitive Psychology.

Shortly after viewing a video of a staged theft, 46 kindergartners, 60 second graders, and 64 adults described the incident for an interviewer. The interviewer asked half of the participants questions designed to be misleading about the critical details of the theft. The rest received straightforward questions. Two days later, the participants again described the incident, and all answered the same set of 20 three-choice questions about it posed by either the previous or a new interviewer.

Memory accuracy and resistance to misleading questions improved with age, reports a team led by psychologist David F. Bjorklund of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Moreover, m

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content