The role of arousal and retention interval on eyewitness memory

Renan Benigno Saraiva, Lara Souza, Raiane Nogueira, Letícia Coelho, Luciana Alarcão

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Abstract

Witnessing a crime can be a highly stressful situation, eliciting arousal levels that may affect eyewitness memory performance. In two experiments, participants watched a mock crime with varying arousal intensities (neutral, robbery, and murder), and provided reports after varying retention intervals (immediate testing, 7 days, 14 days or 21 days). Results showed that arousal did not have a significant main effect on eyewitness memory recall. Eyewitness memory performance was stronger for the event with higher arousal only after a 7 days retention interval, but performance was comparable across all arousal conditions in longer retention intervals. Theoretical and practical implications related to the evaluation of eyewitness testimony are discussed.
Translated title of the contributionThe role of arousal and retention interval on eyewitness memory
Original languagePortuguese
Article numbere37211
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPsicologia: Teoria e Pesquisa
Volume37
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • eyewitness testimony
  • arousal
  • retention interval
  • memory

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