Authors: William J. Lewinski, Jennifer L. Dysterheft, Matthew M. Priem, Robert W. Pettitt
The purpose of this study was to measure the amount of error incurred by police officers when trying to accurately draw a previously completed movement path, which occurred during their response to a high-stress encounter. Secondary purposes of the study examined whether gridlines on a diagram or a distractor situation would influence memory accuracy. Officers (n = 23) were taken through a high-stress stimulus phase, followed by a memory recall phase where they were required to accurately draw their path of travel. Average distance traveled was 5.15 ± 1.98 m. Average discrepancy for all participants was an area of 3.23 ± 4.13 m2 and length of 1.43 ± 1.30 m. Significant length differences were found between actual and recalled paths of travel (p < .01). No other significant area or length differences were found.