Time-of-day effects on eyewitness reports in morning and evening types

Sergii Yaremenko, Melanie Sauerland, Lorraine Hope

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Abstract

Our performance varies throughout the day as a function of alignment with our circadian rhythms. The current experiment tested whether similar performance patterns can be observed in eyewitness memory performance. One-hundred-and-three morning-type and evening-type participants watched a stimulus event, provided a free report and answered cued questions in the morning and the evening hours, respectively. We expected eyewitness reports to be more detailed and more accurate at participants’ circadian peaks than at circadian troughs. Contrary to our predictions, time of testing did not significantly affect quantity and accuracy of eyewitness statements. Future studies might investigate whether matching chronotype with time of day would be beneficial when encoding or retrieval conditions are suboptimal or when eyewitnesses are vulnerable.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Early online date9 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 9 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • body clock
  • chronotype
  • circadian rhythm
  • cued recall
  • eyewitness memory
  • free recall
  • synchrony effect
  • time of day

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