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The effects of alcohol on crime-related memories: a field study

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Abstract

This field study investigated to what extent memory of criminally relevant details is affected at (close to) zero (MBAC?=?0.00%), moderate (MBAC?=?0.06%), and high (MBAC?=?0.16%) levels of alcohol intoxication. Participants (N?=?76) were approached in bars and were invited to watch a mock crime from a perpetrator perspective. We also measured their blood alcohol concentration levels. After 35?days, when participants were sober, they underwent a free and cued recall task about the mock crime. Compared with sober controls, both moderately and highly intoxicated individuals were less complete when recollecting crime details, recalling up to 33% fewer correct details. Overall, intoxicated participants were less accurate during the cued recall task (i.e. they produced more errors) relative to sober participants. These accuracy effects were dose-dependent for cued recall of salient features. Implications for police interrogations of defendants are discussed. Copyright (c) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    Research areas

  • SEXUAL DECISION-MAKING, AMNESIA, INTOXICATION, BLACKOUT, SUGGESTIBILITY, IDENTIFICATION, EXPECTANCIES, PERFORMANCE, DRINKING
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012