Closing Your Eyes Makes You a Better Witness

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Closing Your Eyes Makes You a Better Witness

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man thinkingHaving trouble remembering where you left the car keys? Close your eyes. The details of when you last had your keys and where you placed them should return. This is according to a new study just published in the January 16, 2015 issue of the Legal and Criminology journal.

Researchers at the University of Surrey conducted two experiments, with a total test pool of 178 participants, to determine if closing the eyes or establishing a rapport with investigators would produce better crime witness testimony.

In the first experiment, participants watched a movie in which a crime of theft occurred. Following the movie, they were asked to answer a series of questions regarding details of the crime. The interview was conducted under four conditions: with eyes closed, eyes opened, cold interrogation and after building a rapport with the interviewer. Researchers found that when the eyes were closed, participants were able to answer more accurately, remembering such details as what was written on vehicles, etc. Building rapport also resulted in more correct answers, but closing the eyes yielded better results, regardless of other factors.

The second experiment entailed watching another film. This time there were two crimes portrayed: a burglary and also an assault on the homeowner. Participants were asked not to only relate what they saw, but also what they heard. The same four conditions were repeated. Closing the eyes helped participants recall both their visual and audio memory, whether they had established a rapport with the interviewer or not. Dr. Robert Nash, lead researcher, said that the data indicates that closing the eyes helps because it “removes distraction.” He adds, “The mechanisms we identified ought to apply to other contexts, for example trying to remember the details of a lecture.”

In both experiments, participants disclosed that they felt less comfortable closing their eyes if they have not established a rapport with the interviewer. This led the study to conclude that crime witness testimony would be greatly enhanced by first establishing rapport between the witness and the interviewer, and then by having the witness close his or her eyes.

So next time you’re trying to remember something, don’t be shy and close your eyes. You might not solve a crime, but you’ll have more chance of reconstructing that elusive picture in your mind.

 

  • chib Thom

    this is actually a great method. i have tried this before for my misssing wallet. i tried remembering where last i went. but this dosn’t really work if you have a lot of things in your mind.

  • Chiya Gunsgirl

    I do personally agree with it. I haven;t tried this method yet. Based on the book I read, when you are trying to find something lost, then you should calm down and rethink. Try to construct the arrangement of the tragedy befor it happens. And it is actually true and it has been proved by people nowadays. The best solution to this problem is to rethink and to focus on the events before the tragedy happens.

  • will088

    I wonder if the effects of consuming alcohol the night before would effect this in anyway, and if you would have to be in the same state of inebriation to achieve the same outcome?

  • mark

    I used the exact method described in the article to locate my keys this morning. a few seconds into closing my eyes I remember where my keys are. I applaud this article for teaching me such a valuable tool.

  • Hye Sai Lee

    As everyone else I do also agree with that, And I actually do that all the time, even before I’ve read something like that on the internet. It all started in the School, closing your eyes and trying to remember something. It really helps!
    Whoever wrote the article thumbs up to you!

  • thetastytreater


    Closing Your Eyes Makes You a Better
    Witness” is a great article. This technique can work in many situations. I
    tried this once when taking an exam at school. I could actually see the words I
    read when studying and was able to pass the test with the correct answers.

  • Anisur Rahman Likhon

    I wonder if the effects of consuming alcohol the night before would effect this in anyway, s everyone else I do also agree with that, And I actually do that all the time, even before I’ve read something like that on the internet. It all started in the School, closing your eyes and trying to remember something. It really helps!
    Whoever wrote the article thumbs up to you!

  • umanewa77

    I used the exact method described in the article to locate my keys this morning. a few seconds into closing my eyes I remember where my keys are and This technique can work in many situations.

  • SarahHarris1a1

    To remember or to recollect something from our memory we need topmost attention! Closing our eyes can make that attention stronger!

  • Debbie Boulier

    Okay I have to try this, I’m always misplacing stuff and anything to help would be great.

  • Mondal Nitay

    To remember or to recollect something from our memory we need topmost attention! Closing our eyes can make that attention stronger!