The percentage of older adults in the general population is growing. As a result, older adults are coming more frequently into contact with the Criminal Justice System as witnesses to and victims of crime. Older adults are also over-represented in crimes where conversation detail is of particular importance to an investigation (e.g. distraction burglary). The present study therefore examined the efficacy of cognitive interview (CI) compared with structured interview in improving the recall of an event by older witnesses, specifically conversational detail. Young adults (19–54 years old), young-old adults (60–74 years old), and old-old adults (75+ years old) were asked to watch a short film of a laptop theft and were then, after a 1.5 hour delay, randomly allocated to one of two interview conditions. It was found that the CI significantly increased recall of all age groups, without increasing the amount of incorrect or confabulated information reported. The individuals in the young adult and the young-old adult conditions were found to remember significantly more than the individuals from the old-old adult condition, without decreasing the accuracy of the information. The CI enhanced memory for conversation gist, person and action detail. Results will be discussed in relation to interviewing and investigating practices.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2011|