Virtual Reality: a Promising Tool for Criminal Investigation?
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Criminal investigation is important for making reliable reconstructions of crimes. However, the information collected in criminal investigation might be subject to cognitive flaws. Flaws in criminal investigation are contextual bias, confirmation bias and tunnel vision, limited time and capacity and selective retelling. The criminal investigation can be seen as a distributed cognition that consists of multiple stages. In each stage information derived from decision-making is transferred to the next stage. For each stage, multiple cognitive fallacies reduce the reliability of the criminal investigation. Virtual Reality (VR) might be a useful tool to reduce these cognitive errors. This research investigates what impact VR has on cognitive factors in criminal investigation. Results show that VR might be a powerful tool as it enhances learning, reduces cognitive load, creates virtual context reinstatement and improves evidence collection. However, there is still a lot unknown when it comes to the limitations of VR.