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Consistent witness responses : the effects of age and negative feedback

McMurtrie, Hazel and Baxter, James and Obonsawin, Marc and Hunter, Simon C. (2012) Consistent witness responses : the effects of age and negative feedback. Personality and Individual Differences, 53 (8). 958–962. ISSN 0191-8869

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The effects of negative feedback in the absence of leading questions within a simulated forensic interview was investigated across young, middle-aged and older adults. Participants aged 18-85 (N = 101) watched a mock crime incident, were questioned, received feedback and re-questioned. It was hypothesised that when compared with neutral feedback, negative feedback would result in greater response changes and higher ratings of interview difficulty. The results supported this hypothesis and are consistent with Gudjonsson and Clark’s (1986) model of interrogative suggestibility. Correlation analysis revealed a significant negative association between age and response change following explicit negative feedback. Older adults showed reduced susceptibility to interrogative pressure.