Equipping witnesses with transferable skills: the Self-Administered Interview©

Julie Gawrylowicz, Amina Memon, Alan Scoboria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Self-Administered Interview© (SAI) is a novel investigative interview tool with potential practical benefits. Research revealed that the SAI increases the recall of correct information without a decrease in accuracy. In addition, it seems to prevent forgetting. Participants who had completed the SAI after viewing an event remembered more correct details following a delay than participants who did not have this early recall opportunity. The current study examined whether the beneficial effects of the SAI go beyond the well-established testing effect. Does the SAI make a good witness for one event or for a better witness in general? If the SAI provides general skills, its effects may transfer at least partially to a new event. Two groups of participants watched an event followed by SAI or free recall (FR) instructions. After a one-week delay participants were presented with a second event and received FR instructions. In addition to replicating the SAI effect, experienced SAI participants recalled more correct details for the second event than inexperienced individuals. The findings suggest that the SAI equips witnesses with transferable skills they can use during future retrieval of new events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-325
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Issue number4
Early online date28 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2014


  • self-administered interview
  • eyewitness memory
  • metacognition
  • skill development transfer


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