Reducing Misinformation Effects in Older Adults With Cognitive Interview Mnemonics

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Abstract

We examined the effect of a prior Modified Cognitive Interview on young and older adults' recall of a short film of a staged crime and subsequent reporting of misinformation. Participants viewed the film followed the next day by misinformation presented in a postevent summary. They were then interviewed with either a Modified Cognitive Interview or a control interview followed by a recognition memory test. A Modified Cognitive Interview elicited more correct details and improved overall accuracy compared to a control interview in both age groups, although the young adults recollected three times more correct information in a Modified Cognitive Interview than the older adults. In both age groups, correct recollections of person and action details were higher in a Modified Cognitive Interview than a control interview. Importantly, older adults who were interviewed with a Modified Cognitive Interview were not susceptible to misinformation effects.

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