The Eye-Closure Interview: The practical utility of instructing eyewitnesses to close their eyes

A. Vredeveldt, C.G. Tredoux

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


It is an unfortunate fact that most crimes are never solved, regardless of where in the world they occur (e.g. the Netherlands: Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, 2014; the United Kingdom: Home Office Statistical Bulletin, 2014; South Africa: Leggett, 2003). Whether a crime is solved will often depend on the quality and quantity of information obtained from eyewitnesses (Fisher, 1995; Kebbell & Milne, 1998). Over the past three decades, psychologists have helped to improve the collection and use of evidence from eyewitnesses during multiple stages of the process from statement taking to conviction or acquittal (e.g. Wells et al., 2000). An important set of interventions has been the design and testing of various interviewing methods to help witnesses remember more and better. Two well-known examples are the Cognitive Interview (Fisher & Geiselman, 1992; Geiselman et al., 1984) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) interview protocol (Lamb, Orbach, Hershkowitz, Esplin, & Horowitz, 2007;

13.1 Introduction 231 13.2 Laboratory Studies of Eye-Closure Effectiveness 232 13.3 Naturalistic Experiment 234 13.4 Field Study 237 13.5 Eyewitness Identifications 239 13.6 Conclusions and Future Directions 241 References 243

Orbach et al., 2000). These interviewing procedures have proven to be highly effective at improving memory for events, yielding up to 35% more information in field settings (Fisher, Geiselman, & Amador, 1989).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychology and Law in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationWhen West meets East
EditorsPär Anders Granhag, Ray Bull, Alla Shaboltas, Elen Dozortseva
Place of PublicationBoca Raton, USA
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781315317045
ISBN (Print)9781498780988
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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