General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Memory in Courtroom
Language EN
Module lecturer dr hab. Maciej Hanczakowski, prof. UAM
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Professor
Faculty Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Science
Semester 2024/2025 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 23-PIE-MIC


Module aim (aims)

The aim of the module is to provide students with an overview of how experimental research on memory may inform forensic practice. Based on the newest developments in this area, students will learn how experimental research concerning basic memory processes can be applied in order to improve the quality of information gathered from witnesses. The primary focus of the module is on topics that are currently hotly debated in the literature on memory, such as the role of false memories in eyewitness testimony, the best format for administering line-ups, or the relationship between confidence and accuracy in memory reporting.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)


Week 1: Introduction to applied memory research: memory stores, memory processes, stages of remembering; levels-of-processing at encoding, aspects of memory representations, mechanisms of forgetting, cue-dependent retrieval, retrieval as memory modifier, metamemory processes in remembering.

Week 2: Eyewitness identification: identification procedures as different types of recognition tests, signal detection approach to assessing the effectiveness of identification procedures.

Week 3: Eyewitness identification: system and estimator variables, guidelines to an effective lineup procedure, diagnostic-feature-detection model of eyewitness identification, confidence in identification decisions.

Week 4: Misinformation effects: three-stage paradigm for investigating misinformation effects, beliefs and recollections in reporting from memory, the source monitoring framework, the role of forced confabulation in the misinformation effect, test-enhanced suggestibility.

Week 5: Interviewing protocols: the principles of the Cognitive Interview, metacognitive aspects of ‘report all’ instructions, grain size of memory reporting, context reinstatement, unanswerable questions, self-administered interview.      

Week 6:Social influences on memory reporting: conformity effects, normative and informational influence, social contagion of memory, source credibility – trustworthiness and expertise, proxy cues for determining credibility, metamemory in regulation of borrowing memories from others.

Week 7: Developmental trends in eyewitness memory: children as witnesses, developmental reversals, fuzzy-trace theory, specific impairments in older adults’ memory, misrecollections. 

Week 8:Summary and conclusions.

Reading list