A police flex squad supporting crowd control in Amsterdam. Feb. 18, 2010 - Credit: Jos van Zetten / Flickr - License: CC-BY
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 - 13:58
Police too dismissive of new information: PhD
Police officers often dismiss witnesses who remember additional information at a second or third questioning as unreliable, while the information may be correct. This is according to a study done by Alana Krix, who received her doctorate on police interviews. According to Krix, remembering new details in a second interview is a normal phenomenon. The study shows that witnesses frequently remember previously unrecalled details at almost the same accuracy as consistently recalled information. Krix showed a video of a theft to a group of people and then asked them to provide information on what they saw immediately after watching the film. A week later she called them back for another statement. A group of experienced police detectives then estimated their recall performance. The results showed that the police officers consistently underestimated the group's actual recall performance. The officers assumed a decline of memory while the groups actual recall remained about the same. The detectives were also concerned that the new information recalled was the result of suggestive external influences. Krix hopes that her research will lead to revised interrogation training.