Fatal impact? The effects of emotional arousal and weapon presence on police officers' memories for a simulated crime
Hulse, Lynn and Memon, Amina (2006) Fatal impact? The effects of emotional arousal and weapon presence on police officers' memories for a simulated crime. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 11 (2). pp. 313-325. ISSN 1355-3259 (doi:10.1348/135532505X58062)Full text not available from this repository.
Purpose. (1) To investigate the effects of emotional arousal and weapon presence on the completeness and accuracy of police officers' memories; and (2) to better simulate the experience of witnessing a shooting and providing testimony.
Methods. A firearms training simulator was used to present 70 experienced police officers with either a shooting or a domestic dispute scenario containing no weapons. Arousal was measured using both self-report and physiological indices. Recall for event details was tested after a 10-minute delay using a structured interview. Identification accuracy was assessed with a photographic line-up.
Results. Self-report measures confirmed that the shooting induced greater arousal than did the other scenario. Overall, officers' memories for the event were less complete, but more accurate, when they had witnessed the shooting. The recall and line-up data did not support a weapon focus effect.
Conclusions. Police officers' recall performance can be affected both qualitatively and quantitatively by witnessing an arousing event such as a shooting.
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