Online co-witness discussions also lead to eyewitness memory distortion: The MORI-v technique

Sara Cadavid, Karlos Luna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

When co-witnesses exchange information, false information may be presented, and false memories could be created. This co-witness suggestibility effect has been studied in face-to-face interactions, and little is known about the impact of online discussions on co-witnesses' memories. In two experiments, we explored whether (1) the co-witness suggestibility effect appeared following online discussion and (2) enlightenment instructions reduced the effect. We created a virtual variant of the MORI procedure, the MORI-v technique, in which participants watched a short film of a crime on a smartphone and then discussed the event via an instant-messaging app. Results replicated the classic co-witness suggestibility effect: false information presented by witnesses was often incorporated in their memories. Also, enlightenment instructions reduced the co-witness suggestibility effect, just as in the misinformation paradigm. This research showed that online-based communication might induce memory distortions and that cognitive science may help to find ways to protect us from them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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