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Alcohol and remembering a hypothetical sexual assault: Can people who were under the influence of alcohol during the event provide accurate testimony?

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journal contribution
posted on 09.06.2016, 10:50 authored by Heather Flowe, Melanie K. Takarangi, Joyce E. Humphries, Deborah S. Wright
We examined the influence of alcohol on remembering an interactive hypothetical sexual assault scenario in the laboratory using a balanced placebo design. Female participants completed a memory test 24 hours and 4 months later. Participants reported less information (i.e., responded ‘don’t know’ more often to questions) if they were under the influence of alcohol during scenario encoding. The accuracy of the information intoxicated participants reported did not differ compared to sober participants, however, suggesting intoxicated participants were effectively monitoring the accuracy of their memory at test. Additionally, peripheral details were remembered less accurately than central details, regardless of intoxication level; and memory accuracy for peripheral details decreased by a larger amount compared to central details across the retention interval. Finally, participants were more accurate if they were told they were drinking alcohol rather than a placebo. We discuss theoretical implications for alcohol myopia and memory regulation, together with applied implications for interviewing intoxicated witnesses.

Funding

This research was supported by awards from the Economic and Social Research Council and Alcohol Research UK.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Memory

Pages

1 - 20

Citation

FLOWE, H.D. ...et al., 2015. Alcohol and remembering a hypothetical sexual assault: Can people who were under the influence of alcohol during the event provide accurate testimony? Memory, 24(8), pp 1042-1061.

Publisher

© Taylor & Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2015

Notes

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Memory on 17 Aug 2015, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2015.1064536

ISSN

0965-8211

eISSN

1464-0686

Language

en