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Collaborative RememberingTheories, Research, and Applications$
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Michelle L. Meade, Celia B. Harris, Penny Van Bergen, John Sutton, and Amanda J. Barnier

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737865

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737865.001.0001

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Forensic Applications of Social Memory Research

Forensic Applications of Social Memory Research

(p.353) Chapter 20 Forensic Applications of Social Memory Research
Collaborative Remembering

Helen Paterson

Lauren Monds

Oxford University Press

Within the legal system an assumption exists that witness testimonies should be independent of one another; however the evidence suggests that this is frequently not the case. Witnesses commonly discuss the event with each other. It is important to determine the effects of cowitness information on the validity of eyewitness testimony. It is generally recognized that discussion between witnesses can be detrimental; the possibility of false information (or information that the participant never saw) entering recall is a key concern. We review the prevalence of cowitness discussion, legal opinions about cowitness discussion, and finally experimental research investigating the effects of discussion on eyewitness memory. We also provide some suggestions of how to prevent cowitness discussion and contamination of testimony.

Keywords:   cowitness discussion, eyewitness testimony, forensic psychology, legal system, individual differences, memory

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