Inoculating against eyewitness suggestibility via interpolated verbatim vs. gist testing

Ainat Pansky, Einat Tenenboim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In real-life situations, eyewitnesses often have control over the level of generality in which they choose to report event information. In the present study, we adopted an early-intervention approach to investigate to what extent eyewitness memory may be inoculated against suggestibility, following two different levels of interpolated reporting: verbatim and gist. After viewing a target event, participants responded to interpolated questions that required reporting of target details at either the verbatim or the gist level. After 48 hr, both groups of participants were misled about half of the target details and were finally tested for verbatim memory of all the details. The findings were consistent with our predictions: Whereas verbatim testing was successful in completely inoculating against suggestibility, gist testing did not reduce it whatsoever. These findings are particularly interesting in light of the comparable testing effects found for these two modes of interpolated testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages16
JournalMemory and Cognition
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by The Israel Science Foundation (Grant 898/03-34.2) awarded to Ainat Pansky.

Keywords

  • Eyewitness memory
  • False memory
  • Misinformation
  • Suggestibility
  • Testing effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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