Memory at the sharp end: the costs of remembering with others in forensic contexts

Lorraine Hope, Fiona Gabbert

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In many applied contexts where accurate and reliable information informs operational decision-making, emergency response resource allocation, efficient investigation, judicial process and, ultimately, the delivery of justice, the costs of unfettered conversational remembering can be high. To date, research has demonstrated that conversations between co-witnesses in the immediate aftermath of witnessed events and co-witness retellings of witness events often impair both the quality and quantity of information reported subsequently. Given the largely negative impact of conversational remembering on the recall of both individual witnesses and groups of witnesses in this context, this review explores the reasons why these costs occur, the conditions under which costs are exacerbated, and how, in practical terms, the costs can be reduced in order to maximise the accuracy and completeness of witness accounts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTopics in Cognitive Science
Early online date2 Aug 2018
Publication statusEarly online - 2 Aug 2018


  • RCUK
  • ESRC
  • ES/N009614/1


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