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Eyewitness Composite Production - A Function of Mental or Physical Reinstatement of Context

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 12 Issue: 2 Dated: (June 1985) Pages: 209-220
G Davies; A Milne
Date Published
12 pages
Recent research has demonstrated that reinstatement of the original context of an incident can facilitate the performance of eyewitness at line-up.
Groups of housewives (n=8) were allocated to the cells of a 2 x 2 factorial design that contrasted the effects of physical reinstatement (testing in the same or different room) with mental reinstatement of context (spontaneous recall or guided rehearsal of the original incident) on memory for the appearance of an unexpected intruder. Irrespective of room used for testing, memory guidance increased the quality of facial composites produced by witnesses. Physical reinstatement of context also improved composite quality, though to a lesser extent. No significant effects for either guidance or context were found on either recall of the physical details of the intruder or a simulated mugbook identification task. (Publisher abstract)


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