Memory of the witnesses

Memory not always functions properly. The information can be subject to involuntary changes each time when the person recollects event that is the reason of occurrence of errors at information restoration. This question is especially important, when it is a question of the statements made the witness in court as they can be used as the proof for charge.


During the researches which have been carried out by Wells during identification, bodies of police of the English-speaking countries spent by employees, it has been established, that the considerable quantity of circumstances can affect the decision of the witness. For example, solving influence has structure of the group of persons, shown for the identification. If the witness searches for the high fair-haired person, and in group there is a person with such distinctive lines, thus, that other members of group are men of small growth with dark hair, the probability of is great that the witness will specify in the high fair-haired man. Other established fact is that the suspect who differs from other members of group characteristic signs, for example clothes, gestures or a walking manner, is exposed to the big risk of erroneous identification. Besides, it is not necessary to forget, that hopes and expectations of the witness can influence its decision. It is necessary to pay attention to that fact when the suspect belongs to other ethnic minority, than the witness. And in summary it is necessary to mention that a main role the instructions received by the witness can play. So, if to it it has been told, that the suspect is among persons who will be shown it for an identification, the quantity of errors of identification will be more than in a case when to the witness say that a suspected cart-. It is possible, but it is not obligatory, is among a group of persons. Last condition promotes fall of the pressure tested by the witness, as a result of its decision becomes more true.


Conditions in which the statement is made, also definitely influence its reliability. In classical research Geyzelmana, Fisher, MacKinnon and Holland «Improvement of memory of the witness during police interview: restoration of cognitive abilities by means of mnemonic in comparison with hypnosis» (Eyewitness memory enhancement in the pylice interview: Cognitive retrieval mnemonics versus hipnosis »( 1985) reliability of the data received during time of 3 procedures was compared: the usual interview based on receptions, used in polices of Los Angeles, the interview, received under hypnosis, and specially prepared interview for simplification of process of remembering. Revival in memory of conditions in which there was an event In the latter case took place, there was stimulated by a demonstration of all possible details and eventually the full information on incident has been received. Also the request has been stated to show this incident from different foreshortenings, taking into account characters of all characters. The results received during investigation, have appeared excessively favorable for this purpose interview. Results of usual police interrogation have appeared on 2nd place though in them there was a significant amount of errors, the interview which have been carried out under hypnosis, hardly reflected a reality.


Is necessary for noticing, that use of hypnosis for remembering some data has under itself no any scientific basis, this method also is not applied in courts of the majority of the countries as the information which receive during hypnotic sessions is no more than the subjective answer which connects imagination of the person who is under hypnosis, with the helps inspired by the hypnotist.

Therefore, for increase of degree of reliability of indications of the interrogated person, it is necessary to have in to a kind, that the most productive is application of receptions of mnemonic, thus it is not necessary to cause in memory of the witness of any information which then can lead to distortion of its indications. Alternatively it is necessary to prefer accurate revival of the information in memories, the analysis of details and structure of the corresponding story.