What is it about?

As part of their interview of an eyewitness after a crime, police should ask simple questions about how well the eyewitness slept the night before because those who report poor sleep tend to have worse memory for the crime and will be more likely to mistakenly identify an innocent suspect as the perpetrator.

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Why is it important?

Eyewitness memory is a foundational form of evidence for the criminal justice system, so it is critical to be able to determine how reliable it is. We found that eyewitnesses who report poor sleep the night before a crime provide less reliable eyewitness evidence.

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This page is a summary of: The sleepy eyewitness: Self-reported sleep predicts eyewitness memory., Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, November 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/mac0000076.
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