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From laboratory to the street: Capturing witness memory using the Self-Administered Interview

Authors


Lorraine Hope PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth, King Henry I Street, Portsmouth PO1 2DY, Hampshire, UK (e-mail: lorraine.hope@port.ac.uk).

Abstract

The Self-Administered Interview (SAI©) is a tool designed to elicit a comprehensive initial account from witnesses at the scene of an incident or shortly thereafter to inoculate against the loss of information associated with delayed interview. Drawing on the principles of the Cognitive Interview (CI), the SAI© provides witnesses with a series of instructions and retrieval cues to support recall. Requesting that witnesses complete an SAI© not only serves to preserve and protect memory but also enables officers to prioritize the allocation of policing resources during the critical early stages of an investigation. The current review traces the development of the SAI© from a series of laboratory studies through to field trials and integrates our findings with theoretical accounts of human memory. We present new data from trials of the tool in the field and consider future avenues for research and further development of the SAI©.

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