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The devil is not only in the details: gist and detail elaboration in intoxicated witnesses’ reports of interpersonal violence

The devil is not only in the details: gist and detail elaboration in intoxicated witnesses’ reports of interpersonal violence


Title: The devil is not only in the details: gist and detail elaboration in intoxicated witnesses’ reports of interpersonal violence
Author: Hildebrand Karlén, Malin
Roos af Hjelmsäter, Emma
Gudjonsson, Gisli   orcid.org/0000-0002-8817-0797
Date: 2018-10-06
Language: English
Scope: 319-344
University/Institute: Háskólinn í Reykjavík
Reykjavik University
School: Viðskiptadeild (HR)
School of Business (RU)
Series: Psychology, Crime & Law;25(4)
ISSN: 1068-316X
1477-2744 (eISSN)
DOI: 10.1080/1068316X.2018.1526936
Subject: Pathology and Forensic Medicine; Law; General Psychology; Alcohol intoxication; Eye witnesses; Gist; Level of detail; Delayed interview; Eyewitness memory; Meinafræði; Réttarlæknisfræði; Lög; Sálfræði; Áfengisneysla; Víma; Vitni; Minni; Framburður (lögfræði); Yfirheyrslur
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/2110

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Citation:

Karlen, M. H., af Hjelmsaeter, E. R., & Gudjonsson, G. H. (2019). The devil is not only in the details: Gist and detail elaboration in intoxicated witnesses’ reports of interpersonal violence. Psychology Crime & Law, 25(4), 319–344. https://doi.org/10.1080/1068316X.2018.1526936

Abstract:

The empirical base relating to alcohol's effects on underlying memory mechanisms among witnesses is sparse. Therefore, the effect of alcohol intoxication on memory mechanisms was investigated, as well as how degree of intoxication and interview delay affected gist and detail elaboration in these witnesses' reports. Participants (n = 136) were randomized to an alcohol group (men: 0.8 g/kg, women: 0.75 g/kg) (n = 70) or a control group (n = 66), given juice. After consumption, they witnessed an intimate partner violence-scenario, and performed tasks assessing memory mechanisms. Half of the intoxicated and sober groups were interviewed immediately. The remaining participants were interviewed one week later. Inter alia, intoxication decreased total gist recall and elaboration capacity. In general, high intoxication (BAC = 0.08-0.15) made witnesses report fewer gist categories, and also to elaborate them less, but there were differences in gist/detail elaboration between levels of intoxication due to emotional context. Less reported information among intoxicated witnesses was caused both by omitting parts of the scenario and to less detailed elaboration. Emotional context influenced reporting among intoxicated witnesses on a gist and detail level. However, intoxication had less impact on gist/detail-elaboration than did a one week delay before interview, suggesting that witnesses should be interviewed immediately, despite intoxication.

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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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