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J Exp Psychol Appl. 2002 Mar;8(1):33-43.

Selecting accurate statements from the cognitive interview using confidence ratings.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, Canada.


Participants viewed a videotape of a simulated murder, and their recall (and confidence) was tested 1 week later with the cognitive interview. Results indicated that (a) the subset of statements assigned high confidence was more accurate than the full set of statements; (b) the accuracy benefit was limited to information that forensic experts considered relevant to an investigation, whereas peripheral information showed the opposite pattern; (c) the confidence-accuracy relationship was higher for relevant than for peripheral information; (d) the focused-retrieval phase was associated with a greater proportion of peripheral and a lesser proportion of relevant information than the other phases; and (e) only about 50% of the relevant information was elicited, and most of this was elicited in Phase 1.

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