AP-LS 2010 abstract

Long-Term Benefits of Eye-Closure on Eyewitness Memory in Free Report and Direct Questioning

Annelies Vredeveldt, Graham J. Hitch, & Alan D. Baddeley; University of York

Recent research suggests that closing one’s eyes during an interview may enhance eyewitness memory for emotionally neutral events. The present studies extended this research by assessing memory for a violent event, by introducing a delayed recall session, and by comparing free and cued recall. We found eye-closure to enhance memory for visual information in immediate direct questioning and in delayed free and cued recall, but not in immediate free report. Unfortunately, we also found a small but significant increase in the report of false information in delayed free report, which urges caution in the use of eye-closure in forensic interviews.