Experts question whether the techniques used to interview crime victims and witnesses during investigations are optimized to gather the most accurate information while minimizing the potential for negative experiences for the interviewee. In response, this study used a randomized-control design to compare a novel trauma-informed interview created for this study against an established interview, the Enhanced Cognitive Interview (ECI). Participants (N = 45) were recruited from a university human subjects pool. Participants watched a video depicting a robbery, responded to surveys during a 30-minute delay, and were randomized to answer questions about the video in the trauma-informed (n = 21) or ECI condition (n = 24). Participants were compared based on the accuracy and inaccuracy of their memory and their experience during the interview. The two techniques did not significantly differ on any outcome, suggesting the trauma-informed approach added little to the ECI, but also did not detract from the ECI, in a laboratory setting. Findings are discussed with respect to implications for the efficacy and uptake of evidence-based interview techniques in applied legal settings.

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