Professional Experience in Investigative Interviewing Does Not Guarantee Strong Knowledge about Memory

Olivier Dodier, Frédéric Tomas, Mélany Payoux, Benjamin Elissalde


We examined the knowledge of law enforcement officers regarding memory by conducting two levels of analysis. First, we compared memory-related knowledge and erroneous beliefs of officers (n = 200) and lay people (n = 403) and found similar low scores of knowledge across both groups as well as a greater number of erroneous beliefs among law enforcement officers. Second, we compared knowledge and erroneous beliefs of officers who had undergone training in investigative interviewing (n = 41) with those of their untrained counterparts (n = 159). Similar low scores in knowledge and false beliefs were found. However, when comparing officers who reported conducting five or more interviews per month (n = 82) to officers who reported conducting zero interviews per month (n = 43), we found that the first group expressed more erroneous beliefs. The results are discussed in line with previous research, in particular, studies on investigative interview practices.


Belief; eyewitness memory; investigative memory; law enforcement; memory

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