Limitations of human memory and implications for interviewing and investigations

Obtaining accurate and reliable information from interviewees and potential witnesses about what happened during a particular event is critical to the effective handling of disputes and investigations.  However, contrary to popular belief, memory does not operate like a video-tape.  Remembering is a constructive process and is prone to errors as a result – including the omission, alteration or fabrication of details.  Memories of events are also influenced by the environment in which they are recalled, including the way in which questions are asked, as well as the content of an interviewer’s questions. 

Understanding the limitations of human memory should therefore inform the way in which we conduct interviews, particularly in the context of formal proceedings and regulatory investigations.  In this training session, Dr Ula Cartwright-Finch, a managing associate in our Dispute Resolution team and a lecturer in legal psychology, will explore key findings from the scientific research in this area and provide some guidelines and techniques for how to draw out the most credible information from an interviewee.

Speaker will be:
Dr Ula Cartwright-Finch, Managing Associate

Who should attend this seminar?
This seminar will be of interest to in-house legal and compliance and employment and anyone involved in interviewing as part of an internal or regulatory investigation.

1 CPD point