Witnesses reporting repeated crimes – like family violence – must report detailed information about individual incidents. Previously, recalling generic information about a repeated event before individual episodes has helped children report more information overall. The current study examined whether adults would also benefit from recalling generic event information first. Seventy-eight adults completed four activity sessions and were later interviewed about them. All interviews included a generic phase where participants were prompted to recall what usually happens, and an episodic phase where they recalled two individual episodes of the activities. Participants were randomly assigned to receive the generic (n = 38) or the episodic phase first (n = 40). During the generic phase, the generic-first participants reported more details. However, when reporting the second individual episode, episodic-first participants reported more details. Findings suggest mild benefits from describing generic event information first, but potential detrimental impacts on subsequent episodic reports are discussed.
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