Exploring cultural differences in eyewitness accounts using a self-administered reporting technique

Hope, Lorraine and Kontogianni, Feni and Rechdan, Joanne and Tavitian, Lucy and Anwar Soubra, Noura and Brome, Dayana Mazen Abu Marak and Gibson, Violet and Anakwah, Nkansah (2023) Exploring cultural differences in eyewitness accounts using a self-administered reporting technique. Psychology, Crime & Law. ISSN 1068-316X

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In a globalised world, investigators often interact with witnesses from diverse cultural backgrounds. To date, there is a wealth of research on the use of evidence-based practices to facilitate recall and reporting in information elicitation contexts. However, research has been primarily conducted with participants from western (and typically individualistic) cultural contexts, ignoring the potential effects of cultural communication norms on memory reporting among other factors. We compared reports provided by two samples that contrast on the individualist-collectivist dimension (UK vs Lebanon). Participants (N = 118) witnessed a staged crime event and provided an account (in their native language) using a self-administered Timeline Technique or a Free Recall format, before responding to cued recall questions. As in previous research, UK participants reported more correct information when using the Timeline Technique compared to free recall. Contrary to hypotheses, participants in Lebanon provided a similar amount of information across reporting format conditions. Overall, Lebanese participants provided fewer correct details both in spontaneous self-administered reporting formats and in cued recall, compared to their UK counterparts. These findings have implications for information-gathering practices in cross-cultural interactions and highlight the (potential) need to modify existing techniques for different cultural contexts.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/1068316X.2023.2279330
15 October 2023Accepted
21 November 2023Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: culture, interviewing, self-administered interview, timeline technique, cross-cultural communication, eyewitness memory
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2023 16:48
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2023 14:17
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14960

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