Rationale: Witnesses who discuss a crime together may report details that they did not see themselves but heard about from their co-witness. Co-witness information may have beneficial and harmful effects on memory accuracy depending on whether the information was correct or incorrect.
Objectives: Given the prevalence of intoxicated witnesses, it is imperative to understand how alcohol influences this effect.
Methods: The present study asked pubgoers (n = 67) at varying levels of intoxication to recall a mock crime video after having also watched a video witness statement containing both correct and false information.
Results: Increased intoxication was associated with decreased confidence, completeness and accuracy, but no increased tendency to report false information. Exposure to incorrect post-event information (PEI) can lead to the incorporation of incorrect information, whereas exposure to correct PEI increased accuracy, regardless of individuals’ alcohol intoxication status.
Conclusions: Thus, whilst discussion and intoxication can negatively impact eyewitness memory, discussion may also have benefits for both sober and intoxicated witnesses.
- Eyewitness memory
- Memory conformity
- Source monitoring