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Does extensive free narrative prompting minimise the effect of mental reinstatement on children's recall of events?
journal contributionposted on 2014-01-01, 00:00 authored by Elli Darwinkel, Martine Powell, Stefanie SharmanStefanie Sharman
The effect of mental reinstatement on children's recall is unclear. One factor that may impact its effectiveness is the degree to which interviewers prompt children during an interview. We examined whether interviewers’ degree of narrative prompting moderated the effect of mental context reinstatement during children's recall of a staged event. Younger and older children were interviewed 7–10 days after the event. Half were told to mentally reinstate the context and half were not. In a fully crossed design, half also received extended narrative prompting during the interview and half did not. We predicted that extensive narrative prompting should reduce any observable benefit of mental reinstatement, especially for older children. However, mental reinstatement had no beneficial effect on recall performance. It is possible that methodological differences, low statistical power, and a small effect size may have reduced the observable benefit of mental reinstatement in comparison to other studies. Overall, the findings of this study suggest that until further research can clearly define the parameters in which mental reinstatement is useful, and therefore produce findings with greater consistency across studies, there is little support for its use in investigative interviews with child witnesses.
JournalPsychiatry, psychology and law
Pagination351 - 359
Publication classificationC1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice2013, The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
child witnessinvestigative interviewingmental reinstatementsexual abuseSocial SciencesScience & TechnologyLife Sciences & BiomedicineCriminology & PenologyLawPsychiatryPsychology, MultidisciplinaryGovernment & LawPsychologyCOGNITIVE INTERVIEW MNEMONICSINVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEWMEMORYSUGGESTIBILITYWITNESSESCONTEXTLaw