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Memory conformity: Can eyewitnesses influence each other's memories for an event?

Gabbert, Fiona; Memon, Amina and Allan, Kevin. 2011. Memory conformity: Can eyewitnesses influence each other's memories for an event? Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, pp. 163-174. ISSN 0888-4080 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The current study investigated memory conformity effects between individuals who witness and then discuss a criminal event, employing a novel procedure whereby each member of a dyad watches a different video of the same event. Each video contained unique items that were thus seen only by one witness. Dyads in one condition were encouraged to discuss the event before each witness (individually) performed a recall test, while in a control condition dyads were not allowed to discuss the event prior to recall. A significant proportion (71%) of witnesses who had discussed the event went on to mistakenly recall items acquired during the discussion. There were no age-related differences in susceptibility to these memory conformity effects in younger (18–30 years) as compared to older (60–80 years) participants. Possible social and cognitive mechanisms underlying the distortions of memory due to conformity are discussed.

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Additional Information:

This paper has been made open access by the publisher.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology > Forensic Psychology Unit



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Date Deposited:

23 Sep 2014 15:15

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 15:09

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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