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Bias of Script-Driven Processing on Eyewitness Memory in Young and Older Adults

Authors


Elvira García-Bajos, Faculty of Psychology, University of the Basque Country, Avenida Tolosa, 70, 20018 San Sebastián, Spain.

E-mail: elvira.garcia@ehu.es

Summary

We investigated the effects of script-driven processing on eyewitness memory in young (aged 19 to 27) and older (aged 57 to 73) adults. Participants viewed a bank robbery video including high-typicality and low-typicality actions to examine the effects of the bank robbery script on recall and on immediate and 1-week recognition. There were no differences between young and older adults in recalling high-typicality actions, but recall of low-typicality actions was poorer for older adults. In recognition, participants produced more hits and false alarms, adopted a more lenient response bias, and exhibited greater confidence for high-typicality than low-typicality actions, showing the script-driven processing of the event, even in the long term, because the recognition interval only deteriorated performance for low-typicality contents. Older adults had a higher proportion of false alarms, more lenient response bias, and higher confidence than younger adults, showing that bias of script-driven processing is more evident in the elderly. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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