The cognitive interview as a means of improving eyewitness testimony

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  • The cognitive interview - Fisher and Geiselman
    • Change perspective
      • The witnesses should try and recall the incident from the perspective of another bystander as this would allow them to see the event from another point of view. This overcomes the effects of schema on recall.
    • Report everything
      • The witness is encouraged to state all that they can remember from the crime scene,even if it feels unimportant to them or to their experience.
    • Reverse the order
      • Events of the crime should be recalled in a different order than they occurred. This means they are not reporting their expectations of what happened but what really happened.
    • Reinstate the context
      • The witness should try and return to the scene of the crime mentally and  imagine the environment. This stops context dependent forgetting happening as they are returning in g to the scene.
    • The enhanced cognitive interview
      • The enhanced cognitive interview was developed by Fisher in 1987 and added elements to the cognitive interview
      • The enhanced CI tries to reduce the anxiety of the witness, minimising distractions and using open questions.


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