Witnesses often experience lengthy delays prior to being interviewed, during which their memories inevitably decay. Video-communication technology - favored by intergovernmental organizations for playing larger roles in judicial processes - might circumvent some of the resourcing problems that can exacerbate such delays. However, whereas video-mediation might facilitate expeditious interviewing, it might also harm rapport-building, make witnesses uncomfortable, and thereby undermine the quality and detail of their reports. Participants viewed a crime film and were interviewed either one day later via video-link, one day later face-to-face, or 1-2 weeks later face-to-face. Video-mediation neither influenced the detail or the accuracy of participants' reports, nor their ratings of the quality of the interviews. However, participants who underwent video-mediated interviews after a short delay gave more accurate, detailed reports than participants who waited longer to be interviewed face-to-face. This study provides initial empirical evidence that video-mediated communication (VMC) could facilitate the expeditious conduct of high-quality investigative interviews.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology, Crime & Law on 15/11/13, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/1068316X.2013.857669
- eyewitness memory
- virtual justice