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The sinking of M/V Estonia: An archival study of the survivors’ witness reports
Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg.
Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg.
Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg.
2016 (English)In: Nordic Psychology, ISSN 1901-2276, E-ISSN 1904-0016, Vol. 68, no 4, p. 244-256Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most previous eyewitness research has been experimental, and studies examining real events are few. The present study examined eyewitness reports from a real-life, extremely stressful event; the sinking of the passenger ship Estonia in 1994. We analysed the police reports from 131 survivors (age 12–72, 82% men) through a thematic analysis. The results showed that of what could be controlled, most reports were accurate. Thus, this study indicates that eyewitness reports from such a life-threatening event may be reliable. Also, as in previous studies, many reports were fragmentary or incomplete. However, as the survivors reported different aspects, it was possible to obtain more complete information about the event by adding together reports from several persons. This indicates that reports from several persons should be collected in order to achieve a full understanding of events like this. The results provide much needed archival research to complement experimental studies on witnesses’ memory performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 68, no 4, p. 244-256
Keywords [en]
archival study, eyewitness testimony, traumatic event, memory, accident investigation
National Category
Psychology Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Engineering Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-68901DOI: 10.1080/19012276.2016.1150194ISI: 000388744500004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84961208613OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-68901DiVA, id: diva2:1209989
Available from: 2018-05-25 Created: 2018-05-25 Last updated: 2018-05-28Bibliographically approved

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