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Memory. 2016;24(4):560-74. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1031250. Epub 2015 Apr 8.

The impact of note taking style and note availability at retrieval on mock jurors' recall and recognition of trial information.

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a Department of Psychological Sciences , University of Liverpool , Liverpool , UK.


Jurors forget critical trial information and what they do recall can be inaccurate. Jurors' recall of trial information can be enhanced by permitting them to take notes during a trial onto blank sheets of paper (henceforth called freestyle note taking). A recent innovation is the trial-ordered-notebook (TON) for jurors, which is a notebook containing headings outlining the trial proceedings and which has space beneath each heading for notes. In a direct comparison, TON note takers recalled more trial information than freestyle note takers. This study investigated whether or not note taking improves recall as a result of enhanced encoding or as a result of note access at retrieval. To assess this, mock jurors watched and freely recalled a trial video with one-fifth taking no notes, two-fifths taking freestyle notes and two-fifths using TONs. During retrieval, half of the freestyle and TON note takers could access their notes. Note taking enhanced recall, with the freestyle note takers and TON note takers without note access performing equally as well. Note taking therefore enhances encoding. Recall was greatest for the TON note takers with note access, suggesting a retrieval enhancement unique to this condition. The theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed.


Juror; Jury; Memory; Note taking; Recall; Recognition

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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