To know where the bodies are buried: The use of the cognitive interview in an environmental scale spatial memory retrieval task

Nathan Ryan, Nina J. Westera, Mark Kebbell, Rebecca Milne, Mark Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Missing body homicide cases have gained public interest globally due to some high-profile cases. In many of these cases, the task of locating the victim's remains relies on the information investigators can gain through the interviewing of willing suspects. To date, investigative interviewing research has largely focused on the retrieval of episodic memory (events) without focusing on spatial memory, a prominent cognitive task required in locating a victim's remains. The current experiment tests the enhanced cognitive interview (ECI) against a free recall strategy in a mock homicide scenario where participants are required to hide and retrieve an object in a natural bushland setting. The results showed that those in the ECI condition produced more coarse- and fine-grained details of landmarks and their actions at and journeying to the deposition site. This demonstrates the value of using the ECI in generating more valuable information to assist in successive search attempts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-576
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Volume34
Issue number3
Early online date25 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

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