Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre of Applied Research Technology

Solving the puzzle

the effects of contextual information and feedback on the interpretation of a crime scene

Article

In this study, we examined how the provision of contextual informa- tion and the ability to ask questions and obtain feedback affected mock investigators' interpretation of a crime scene. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 conditions in a 2 × 2 design and assessed two photographs of the same crime scene. Participants were instructed to write a narrative about what they thought had happened at the scene. Results showed that the provision of con- textual information and the ability to ask questions had no effect on the lengths of the narratives participants produced. However, participants who received contextual information wrote a more fac- tual narrative containing more descriptions of actions before, during, and after the crime. Across all conditions, most of the questions were asked about persons who could in some way be involved in the crime. Results of this study indicate that the provision of con- textual information helped participants to focus on the more factual, rather than speculative elements, of the crime.

Reference van den Eeden, C. A. J., Ost, J., de Poot, C. J., & van Koppen, P. J. (2018). Solving the puzzle: the effects of contextual information and feedback on the interpretation of a crime scene. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling. 
, 15(2), 109-123. https://doi.org/10.1002/jip.1494
Published by  Centre for Applied Research Technology 1 June 2018