Thursday, March 1, 2007

Older Adults May Be Unreliable Eyewitnesses, Study Shows

Older Adults May Be Unreliable Eyewitnesses, Study Shows, Medical News Today, Feb. 25, 2007:

A University of Virginia study suggests that older adults are not only more inclined than younger adults to make errors in recollecting details that have been suggested to them, but are also more likely than younger people to have a very high level of confidence in their recollections, even when wrong. The finding has implications regarding the reliability of older persons' eyewitness testimonies in courtrooms.

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when younger and older adults were matched on their overall memory for experienced events, both groups showed comparable rates of suggestibility errors in which they claimed to have seen events in a video that had been suggested in a subsequent questionnaire. However, older adults were 'alarmingly' likely to commit these suggestibility errors when they were most confident about the correctness of their response. Younger people were more likely to commit these errors when they were uncertain about the accuracy of their response.

Chad S. Dodson & Lacy E. Krueger, I Misremember It Well: Why Older Adults Are Unreliable Eyewitnesses, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, v. 13 no. 5, Oct. 2006, pp. 770-75. Ingenta link (on-campus users).

I love the title -- because I'm old enough to remember the charming duet between Maurice Chevalier and his wife in "Gigi" ("I Remember It Well"). Of course, I'm also finding it harder to learn names...

Thanks: Idealawg.

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