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Law Hum Behav. 2009 Aug;33(4):298-307. doi: 10.1007/s10979-008-9146-8. Epub 2008 Jun 17.

Protecting eyewitness evidence: examining the efficacy of a self-administered interview tool.

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  • 1Division of Psychology, School of Social and Health Sciences, University of Abertay, Dundee, Scotland. f.gabbert@abertay.ac.uk


Given the crucial role of eyewitness evidence, statements should be obtained as soon as possible after an incident. This is not always achieved due to demands on police resources. Two studies trace the development of a new tool, the Self-Administered Interview (SAI), designed to elicit a comprehensive initial statement. In Study 1, SAI participants reported more correct details than participants who provided a free recall account, and performed at the same level as participants given a Cognitive Interview. In Study 2, participants viewed a simulated crime and half recorded their statement using the SAI. After a delay of 1 week, all participants completed a free recall test. SAI participants recalled more correct details in the delayed recall task than control participants.

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