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Psychology And Criminal Justice

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The eye witness is not perfect and challenging to Identify accuracy. Eyewitness could be problematic due to issues which might be addressed during the interview such as delay evens, suggestibility, anxiety, and lack of confidence as a result of false convictions. To aid the police in their investigations, some interview methods have been developed to improve the quality and quantity of information obtained from eyewitnesses Vredeveldt.,2011. The present thesis investigates the effectiveness of a relatively new interview instruction, namely, asking witnesses to close their eyes during the interview. That witness confidence plays a significant role, influencing reliability to court. Whether eye-closure facilitates event recall affects the Confidence-Accuracy (CA) relationship in eyewitness memory (e.g., Perfect et al., 2008; Vredeveldt &Penrod, 2013). However, it is important to note that Cognitive Interview was developed to address eyewitness issues. Experiments will explore the extent to which the memory benefits of eye closure are valuable when attempts are taken to build between interviewer and witness rapports, thus, potential reducing discomfort. And lastly, it will be demonstrated that the eye closure method is a technique which has been shown to help eyewitnesses recall more accurate and detailed information and can be used along with the Cognitive Interview (CI).

Eye closure Method

Eye closure can be a valuable tool for supporting witnesses in investigative interviews (Mastroberardino, Natali, & Candel, 2012; Vredeveldt et al.,). For instance, Perfect et al. (2008) stated that people who closed their eyes while remembering events were better able to answer correctly and less incorrectly questions opposed to people who kept their eyes open. The phenomenon of the eye-closure method has been helped to improve memory accuracy.

The research illustrated that people who tend to avert their gaze when engaging in complicated remembering tasks had been found that the natural behaviour of looking away or closing the eyes increases with the complexity of their call task. Research has shown that people who were instructed to close their eyes recalled more accurate information in comparison with people who kept their eyes open. Also, Doherty et al. (2002) demonstrated that these performances are refined throughout puberty, and can be advantageous to raise the accuracy of free recall. Wagstaff et al. (2004) sustained these results and found that free recall of preceding events. Can be improved by guide an interviewee to control during the interview. Thus, eye-closure has been contemplated to be as a memory aid that plays a significant role in sustain solid memorisation.

Perfect et al. (2008) enlarged these judgements to the enterprise a list of procedures that intended to consider the impacts of eye-closure on both free and cued recall of everyday events. The outcome across entire studies found that eye-closure has beneficial effects on increasing the accuracy of evoking anamnesis. They summarised improves both free and cued recollection of ocular and aural data from video clips and remotely of everyday events. Furthermore, latter studies discovered that eye-closure undoubtedly appreciates memory recall of visual and auditory data(Vredeveldt, & Sauer, 2015). Thus, cutting out the external interferences by closing the eyes can help improve memory functions.

These measures have justified being highly effective at improving memory for events. Unfortunately, these complex interviewing procedures have also proven difficult to implement in practice. For example, Clarke and Milne (2001) found that the Cognitive Interview had not been used in 83% of investigative interviews in the United Kingdom Dando, Wilcock, & Milne,2008; Kebbell, Milne, & Wagstaff, 1999). The core of this procedure is getting eyewitnesses to attempt memory retrieval with their eyes closed one of the optional components of the Cognitive Interview and one shown in some laboratory investigations to be a useful aid in memory retrieval. The present chapter will briefly review evidence from laboratory studies showing that eye-closure improves memory for events however not for face recognition. Our primary focus will be on the applied value of the Eye-Closure Interview in improving evidence obtained from eyewitnesses. Individually, it will be reviewed empirical evidence addressing whether Eye Closure Interviews can be effective in naturalistic settings, whether Eye Closure Interviews are feasible and effective when interviewing eyewitnesses in field settings and whether Eye-Closure Interviews can improve facial identification performance.

However, In the second experiment, it has been explored the effect of eye closure during a mental rehearsal in a face recognition paradigm. In this paradigm, each participant provides many recognition decisions, allowing for the application of signal detection analytic methods to participant performance, with the particular benefit of estimating both discrimination performance and response criterion. Besides, it has been added a control condition in which participants did not rehearse the face before recognition, to assess the effect of mental rehearsal per se. In line with previous research (e.g. Graefe& Watkins, 1980;), predicted that mental rehearsal of the face would improve participants 'ability to discriminate between old and new faces on a subsequent recognition test. We also predicted that eye-closure during mental rehearsal would increase its effectiveness, through facilitating concentration (e.g. Glenberg et al., 1998) and visualisation (e.g. Wais et al., 2010). Also, extrapolating from findings that eye-closure during recall reduces overconfidence in recall memory (Vredeveldt & Sauer, 2014), we hypothesised that eye-closure would make participants more conservative in their decisions. In this experiment, we found that white participants were better at identifying the white book thief from the line-up compared to participants of a different ethnicity. However, because the experimental design did not include targets with another ethnicity, it is difficult to conclude own-ethnicity bias based on those data. To explore own-ethnicity bias in more detail, we covered both white and black target faces in the second experiment. The two main theories that have been expected to administer meaningful explanations of eye-closure effects will be discussed below.

Eye closure theory

Glenberg’s (1997) proposed that memory is incorporated to correspond the reciprocation among individuals and their environment. He purposed that recalling information and monitoring the situation are two competitive tasks. Thus, when faced with challenging reminiscence, apparent monitoring is restrained (closing the eyes) to aid internal control of this convoluted intellectual recalling task. The latest studies have sustained the effectiveness of this hypothesis in analysing the outcome of eye-closure technique (Perfect et al., 2008; Perfect et al., 2011; Vredeveldt et al., 2011). The prognosis is another potential explanation of eye-closure effects, which suggests that eye-closure obstructs visual approach from the environment and helps imagination (Vredeveldt et al., 2011). The findings confirmed that the brain areas activated in the visual perception are the same as those activated in mental visual representation. Hence, closing the eyes significantly heightens the mental images, which in turn develops retrieval of visual information from lifelong memory (Ganis et al., 2004; Caruso & Gino, 2011; Wais et al., 2010; Vredeveldt et al., 2011). This finding was promoted by experimental studies and neurological findings (Ishai et al., 2000; Mechelli et al., 2004; Wais et al., 2010).

Therefore, there are differences between the two assumptions of eye closure, firstly is concerned with alternative information that expedites by this action. There have been different shreds of evidence that examines the two premises. For example, Perfect et al. (2008) addressed that some indications were persistent with the modality-specific interferences prediction; nonetheless, the vast majority of the evidence supported the cognitive load assumption. Besides, Perfect et al. (2011) state that eye closure decreases false memory, especially when the subjects are vailed to aural aberration. This recommendation firmly supports the hypothesis that eye-closure reduces the combination of general interferences rather than a specific one. To conclude this point, irrespective of the precise theoretical explanations of eye-closure effects, both (cognitive load & modality-specific interference) hypotheses predict that the closure of one’s eyes will enhance the retrieval of studied information. Hence, the question remains, does eye-closure help to reduce false memories?

Eyewitness memory

Human memory is an active process of reconstructing an account of an event or object from incomplete information encoded in memory. This information may include the witness own prior knowledge, expectations and assumptions. Graham Davies., et al.2008 A witness tends to fill in gaps in his memory on ‘what must have happened that day’. An eyewitness may be unable to remember some aspect of an event because they might not attend to relevant detail and therefore it was not encoded in memory (Graham Davies., et al. 2008). A witness may have impaired memory not only because of inattentional blindness but also environmental effects such as delay events, anxiety, or lack of confidence.

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In court cases, witnesses and victims are often questioned weeks, months, or even years after the witnessed crime ( Plotnikoff, 1990; Plotnikoff & Woolfson, 1995; Poole & White, 1993). Unfortunately, with time, our ability to retrieve information from long-term memory declines. A moment to be remembered, the data must first be encoded stored and retrieved. Graham Davies., et al.2008. Vredeveldt and Baddeley (2014) examined the effects of eye-closure in a repeated-recall paradigm. Here, will be analysed the rating of confidence which provided during cued recall in that study to investigate whether the pattern reported in the first experiment holds when the cued-recall interview is preceded by a one-week delay.

The introduction of a one-week delay and multiple recalls attempts also enhanced the ecological validity of the research. In applied settings, the delay between experiencing an event and recalling the incident will typically be longer than a few minutes, and individuals may attempt to retrieve a particular on multiple occasions during repeated witness interviews.

In this experiment, forty-eight participants were randomly assigned to one of four combinations of instructed eye-closure during interviews in sessions one and two (open-open, closed-open, open-closed, or closed-closed). In the first session, participants watched a video depicting a violent encounter between a man and a woman, completed a two-minute distracter task, and provided a free recall of the event. In the second session one week later, participants first provided another free recall, and then participated in a cued-recall interview (with 16 questions about the event). After each cued-recall response, participants indicated their confidence on a scale from 1 (“not confident at all”) to 5 (“extremely confident”). Because confidence ratings were obtained only for cued-recall responses, the free-recall data will not be discussed further, Vredeveld Baddeley, Hitch 2014). For the present research, audio-taped interviews were re-coded using the coding procedure described for Experiment 1. Ten interviews (160 responses; 21% of the total sample) were randomly selected and scored independently by a second blind coder.

Interviewing techniques

The cognitive interview has been developed these issues by incorporating various rapport building and to enhance free recall (Fisher&Geiselman,1992, cited in Nash et al., 2015). Rapport-building is a fundamental interviewing skill (K. Collins, Doherty-Sneddon, & Doherty, 2014; Kassin et al., 2007) emphasised in the first investigative interviewing protocols (Fisher & Geiselman, 1992; Milne & Bull, 2003; Orbach et al., 2000 cited in Nash et al.,2015). Rapport is essential for building friendly or sympathetic relationships and trust and can be developed over disclosing positivity, friendliness, and mutual attention (Abbe & Brandon,2012; Tickle-Degnen & Rosenthal, 1990). A growing research base highlights the positive effects of rapport-building in investigative contexts and links rapport with greater cooperativeness of suspects (Bull & Soukara, 2010) and victims (Holmberg, 2004). ( R. Collins, Lincoln, and Frank (2002) has been demonstrated different participants in a mock-crime video and then consulted them using either a rapport-building, neutral or abrupt approach. Rapport method was employed through verbal and non-verbal interviewer conducts such as referring to witnesses by their names and adapting the tone of speech and body posture. The evidence designated that participants in the rapport-building condition recalled more correct information than those in the neutral and abrupt states, without an attendant to raise inaccuracy. Vallano and Schreiber Compo (2011) validated and protracted these completions, demonstrating that rapport-building heightened the accurate fact that mock-witnesses reported, but also depreciate inaccuracies and awareness to the misstatement. More recently, Kieckhaefer et al. (2014) revealed that rapport-building partly inoculated witnesses against misinformation effects when rapport was built before but not after exposure to the misinformation.

To summarise both eye closure and rapport building separately enhanced correctly responding. However, if eye closure sometimes causes discomfort, as some researchers propose, then its benefits might be improved when efforts are first taken to build interviewer-witness rapport. Sixty-six students participated in watching a 6-minute silent clip demonstrating a man stealing some items from a shop. Takarangi, Parker,&Garry2006. Continually has been engendered 17 queries, each regarding a distinct and valid visual detail of the film (“What was written on the front of the van?”). Before data collection, we defined the responses for each question that would qualify as correct. At the end of the interview, participants concluded a short and simplistic questionnaire wherein they rated the quality of their rapport with the interviewer (1= Poor affinity; 7= Good rapport) and their comfort during the interview (1=Uncomfortable; 7= Comfortable). These questions were intermixed among filler questions concerning how friendly the interviewer was, how she spoke, how easy the interview was, and whether the issues were confusing.


These findings investigated the effect of eye-closure on the confidence-accuracy relation for witnesses event memory. The findings were remarkably consistent across experiments. First, participants were able to monitor the accuracy of their responses, indicated by both the mean ANDI statistics and the higher confidence ratings for correct than incorrect responses. Second, participants were significantly less confident in imprecise responses than in precise responses and showed poorer calibration for imprecise responses. Third, across all experiments, eye-closure reliably increased recall accuracy without significantly inflating confidence, consistent with Wagstaff et al. (2004), Wagstaff, Wheatcroft, Burt, et al., (2011) and Wagstaff, Wheatcroft, and Caddick (2011) findings. The present research included discrimination and calibration analyses as additional indices of the CA relation. Although eye-closure did not improve participants’ discrimination between correct and incorrect responses, there was no evidence that it impaired this ability. Further, reducing distraction in Experiment 3 significantly reduced overconfidence. In sum, eye-closure improves recall accuracy with no apparent cost, and some evidence of benefit, to metamemory.

Confidence assessments can be influenced by intrinsic cues, which tries to the to-be-remembered stimuli, and extrinsic cues, which relate to the external environment associated with encoding and retrieval (Koriat, 1995, Koriat, 1997). Kelley & Lindsay, 1993), extrinsic cues often exert disproportionate effects on confidence (Busey et al., 2000, Chandler, 1994, Garrioch and Brimacombe, 2001, Tulving, 1981).

It is possible that eye-closure shifts witnesses focus towards internal mental processes. For example, eye-closure polarises moral judgments (Caruso & Gino, 2011) and intensifies emotional responses to negative emotional music. An enhanced focus on intrinsic cues as a result of eye-closure could explain the observed increase in accuracy (Koriat, 1993, Koriat, 1995, Koriat, 1997), as well as the decrease in overconfidence. Moreover, even if eye-closure does not direct attention toward internal diagnostic cues, it should at least mitigate the effects of any non-diagnostic visual cues (e.g., from an interviewer). Other manipulations that encourage reflection on internal memory processes, such as focused meditation, have similarly been found to increase recall accuracy without inflating confidence (e.g., Hammond et al., 2006, Wagstaff et al., 2004, Wagstaff et al., 2011), improve CA relations (Brewer et al., 2002, Kassin, 1985, Kassin et al., 1991), and reduce overconfidence (Arkes et al., 1987, Buratti and Allwood, 2012a, Buratti and Allwood, 2012b).


Eye closure improved recall accuracy of precise details provided with high confidence. Thus, the most important application of the eye closure guidance, may be to assist witnesses remember specific events in the future. Reducing distraction during recall through eye closure technique, improves accuracy without inflating confidence. The eye closure instruction is easy to implement in practice and does not require training and does not extend interview time. (Vredeveldt,Tredoux et al.,2014). Moreover, where hypnosis, mental context reinstatement tends to increase overconfidence, has been examined no evidence that eye closure increases confidence, however encourages the reflection of internal memory and body relaxation.(Hammond et all 2006)


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