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The Cognitive Interview for Eyewitnesses with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Maras, K. L. & Bowler, D. M. (2010). The Cognitive Interview for Eyewitnesses with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40(11), pp. 1350-1360. doi: 10.1007/s10803-010-0997-8


The cognitive interview (CI) is one of the most widely accepted forms of interviewing techniques for eliciting the most detailed, yet accurate reports from witnesses. No research, however, has examined its effectiveness with witnesses with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Twenty-six adults with ASD and 26 matched typical adults viewed a video of an enacted crime, and were then interviewed with either a CI, or a structured interview (SI) without the CI mnemonics. Groups did not differ on the quantity or quality of their reports when interviewed with a SI, however, when interviewed with a CI the ASD group was significantly less accurate. Findings indicate that investigative professionals should be cautious in relying on the CI to interview witnesses with ASD.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Publisher Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cognitive Interview, Eyewitness, Memory, Recall, Structured Interview
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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