Presentation on theme: "Revising the context reinstatement component of the Cognitive Interview for older eyewitnesses. Rachel Wilcock 1 & Coral Dando 2 1 London South Bank University."— Presentation transcript:
Revising the context reinstatement component of the Cognitive Interview for older eyewitnesses. Rachel Wilcock 1 & Coral Dando 2 1 London South Bank University 2 University of Lancaster firstname.lastname@example.org iIIRG June 2010 Norway
Why is it Important to Consider Older Adults as Witnesses? In the UK in 2006 11.3 million people were of state pensionable age. This is projected to rise to 12.2 million in 2010, 12.7 million in 2020, and almost 15 million by 2031 (ONS, 2008). Older people are more likely to witness crimes and be victims (Wilcock et al, 2008). Older adults are most likely to be the victim of distraction burglaries (Thornton et al. 2003).
The Effects of Age on Memory Overall: older adults have poorer episodic memory (Balota, Dolan, & Duchek, 2000) Specifically: -Poorer memory for contextual details (Schacter, Norman, & Koutstaal, 1998) - Poorer at cognitively complex tasks ( e.g. Herman & Coyne, 1980) - Older adults believe they have poorer memories compared to younger adults (Hertzog, 1999)
The Effects of Age on Witness Memory Across 3 mock witness studies older adults (M = 70 yrs) were 20% less accurate in free recall, 13% less accurate in cued recall, and 15% less complete in their descriptions of the perpetrator than younger adults (M = 21 yrs) (Yarmey, 2001) Older adults more likely to forget central aspects of event, e.g. presence of weapon and physical characteristics of perpetrator (Brimacombe et al. 1997; Yarmey et al. 1984)
The Cognitive Interview for Older Witnesses Some research has found a significant beneficial effect of CI for older witnesses (Dornburg & McDaniel, 2006; Mello & Fisher,1996; Wright & Holliday, 2007) Other research has not found a significant beneficial effect of CI for older witnesses (Milne, McAlpine, & Bull, 2000; McMahon, 2000)
Context Reinstatement (CR) CR based on the encoding specificity hypothesis is one of the most effective components of the CI (Milne & Bull, 2002). CR may reduce the effects of aging to a certain extent (Balota, Dolan, & Duchek, (2000). However, the manner in which CR is provided must be appropriate for older adults.
Mental Context Reinstatement for Older Adults? To mentally reinstate context for a whole series of images requires considerable processing resources. MCR cues given by an interviewer (likely to be a younger adult) may not be relevant to the information encoded by older adults. Typically after the third or fourth instruction older witnesses want to explain what happened rather than silently construct a mental image.
Aims of Study To investigate the effectiveness of sketch CR, verbal CR, and Mental CR, compared with a control condition on older witness recall of a mock crime event. Hypothesis: Sketch CR would lead to an increase in correct information compared to the other conditions.
Participants 100 participants (29 male and 71 female) aged between 60 and 81 years, mean age 69.17 years Healthy, independently living, within the community Vision checked Screened for dementia and depression
Method Older adult participants viewed a simulated crime event shown on videotape A week delay Participants were randomly assigned to one of four interview conditions: - Sketch Plan CR - Verbal CR - Traditional Mental CR - Control (no CR) Dependent variables: Correct, incorrect, confabulated information, and overall accuracy
No significant differences between interview conditions F (3, 96) =.756, p =.521.
Significant: F (3, 96) = 4.747, p <.004, more incorrect information recalled during the Sketch interview (M = 4.44) compared with the control interview (M = 2.44). No significant differences between the other conditions.
No significant differences between interview conditions F (3, 96) =.299, p =.826..92
No significant differences between interview conditions F (3, 96) = 1.70 p =.173.
Young-Old & Old-Old Young-Old (N= 52) 60 to 69 yrs Old-Old (N = 48) 70 to 81 yrs Correct41.10 (12.52)37.35 (11.54) Incorrect3.31 (1.81)3.40 (2.20) Confabulations0.54 (.90)0.65 (1.10) Accuracy90.87 (4.49)90.43 (4.75) There were no significant effects of age group on recall.
Effect of Interview Condition on Young-Old & Old-Old Young-old: No significant effect of interview condition on correct, confabulations, accuracy. For incorrect sketch lead to significantly more incorrect information (M = 4.55) than control (M = 2.62) Old-Old: No significant effect of interview condition on correct, incorrect, confabulations, or accuracy
Elicitation of Information in Sketch Condition Mean Recall During Sketch Mean Recall Post Sketch Mean Total Free Recall Correct15.0022.8437.80 Incorrect.922.563.56 Confabulations.20.16.36 Accuracy94.9587.7690.11
Discussion From this data Context Reinstatement appears not to be helpful for older witnesses. BUT difficulty in interpreting the data because of such large individual differences
Conclusion It may be possible to enhance elderly witness recall of a crime. A memory enhancing interview designed with the needs of elderly in mind may be more beneficial than using the enhanced cognitive interview which wasn’t designed for this age group.