Drawing to Remember: External Support of Older Adults’ Eyewitness Performance

Dando, C.J. 2013. Drawing to Remember: External Support of Older Adults’ Eyewitness Performance. PLoS ONE. 8 (7), pp. 1-8. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069937

TitleDrawing to Remember: External Support of Older Adults’ Eyewitness Performance
TypeJournal article
AuthorsDando, C.J.
Abstract

Although healthy aging is accompanied by a general decline in memory functioning, environmental support at retrieval can improve older adults’ (+65 years) episodic remembering. Despite those over the age of 65years representing a growing proportion of the population, few environmental retrieval support methods have been empirically evaluated for use with older witnesses and victims of crime. Here, the efficacy of a novel retrieval technique, the Sketch Mental Reinstatement of Context, is compared with a standard Mental Reinstatement of Context and a no support control (Control). Fifty-one participants witnessed an unexpected live event, and 48 hours later were interviewed using one of three aforementioned techniques. In line with predictions emanating from cognitive theories of aging and the environmental support hypothesis, participants in the Sketch Mental Reinstatement of Context condition recalled significantly more correct information and fewer inaccurate items. The Sketch Mental Reinstatement of Context technique appears to scaffold memory retrieval in an age-appropriate manner during a post-event interview, possibly by encouraging more effortful retrieval and reducing dual-task load. As such, this procedure offers an effective alternative to current approaches, adding to the toolbox of techniques available to forensic and other interviewers.

KeywordsSketching to remember; eyewitness; older adults
Article numbere69937
JournalPLoS ONE
Journal citation8 (7), pp. 1-8
ISSN1932-6203
Year2013
PublisherPublic Library of Science
Publisher's versionDando journal.pone.0069937.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069937
Publication dates
Published29 Jul 2013
LicenseCC BY

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