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Memory in Settings

Investigating eyewitness skills across the life span, focusing on vulnerable groups

Academics working in the field of Memory in Settings are part of our Centre for Research in Psychology and are covered overall by our Institute for Social Science Research

Researchers investigate eyewitness skills across the life span, focusing in particular on vulnerable groups of witnesses such as older adults and children with intellectual disabilities. For example, a series of studies has looked at the eyewitness identification accuracy of older adults.

Older adults have subtle difficulties with understanding and retaining the instructions for video eyewitness parades, and these results have been fed back to relevant police officers. Additional work on interviewing older witnesses includes examining the effectiveness of a new sketch mental reinstatement of context interview protocol for frontline police officers and developing a more appropriate interview protocol for older adults.

Further work is investigating the eyewitness identification skills of adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). This under-researched population is particularly vulnerable, with limited access to the criminal justice system, yet a heightened likelihood of being witnesses to or victims of crime. In addition, the group carries out research into the suggestibility of adults and children with and without ID, methods for enhancing evidence given by children, and the effects of cross-examination on the testimony of children with and without ID.

One of the key strengths of this group is the fact that the research findings are disseminated widely amongst practitioners, such as lawyers, barristers, disability specialists and police services.

Contact Dr Rachel Wilcock or search for her and other academics in the field of Memory in Settings in our People Finder.