Does Talking about Emotion Help Eyewitness Memory? The Role of Emotional and Factual Retelling in Memory Accuracy
Eyewitnesses typically talk about the traumatic events that they have experienced based on their memory. This research aimed to investigate differences between emotional and factual retelling of eyewitness in terms of memory accuracy and error. Participants watched a traumatic robbery video and were instructed to recall the events in detail. Participants were divided into three retelling conditions where they: a) discussed the robbery in a factual way, b) focused on discussing their emotional response, and c) performed unrelated tasks. Results showed that eyewitnesses who talked about their emotion recalled less detailed memories and made more errors in free recall while eyewitnesses who focused on factual detail seem to be able to maintain their memory accuracy of the event.
Keywords: eyewitness memory; emotional retelling; factual retelling; memory accuracy; memory error
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