Remembering emotional central and peripheral information: how different memory tasks and individual differences influence eyewitness testimony

Gurjog Bagri, Tomazia Galhardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Few researchers have explored how individuals remember details of criminal events in the context of eyewitness testimony. With more detailed information, jurors, for example, could deduce psychological causality and attribute responsibility more accurately. Memory research reveals that remembering specific details is dependent on the type of task used. When using recall, individuals have difficulty remembering emotional details that could provide insight into the intentions of the criminal. However, recognition favors memory for emotional details, providing greater depth of knowledge. Differences in personality, such as emotional intelligence, can influence memory as well. We explored these factors by testing memory of a fictional rape scene using three categories of information: emotional, central and peripheral. For recall and recognition, there were significant differences between emotional, central and peripheral details. Recognition favored emotional details; recall favored central and peripheral details. In addition, we found advantageous processing of in-formation for emotionally intelligent individuals. Our research reveals how individuals possess a range of knowledge about criminal events, which provides valuable information to jurors for deducing psychological causality. We show how individual differences and the type of memory task used can impact remembering, which has implications for the cognitive interview.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-42
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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