Are those supermarket posters helpful in finding missing children?

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One approach used to help find missing children is to place posters of them at the exits of supermarkets. The present research addresses the question of how effective that approach is likely to be. Posters of 8 missing children were displayed on a bulletin board at a cooperating grocery store. Customers leaving the store completed a survey and took a recognition memory test for the children. Most customers thought the problem of missing children was an important issue. However, the majority of customers also reported either not looking at the posters or only briefly looking at the posters. Recognition memory for children depicted in the posters did not reliably differ from chance. It appears that there is much room for improvement when it comes to increasing the attention paid to posters meant to help find missing children.

Source: “The Effectiveness of Supermarket Posters in Helping to Find Missing Children” from Journal of Interpersonal Violence, March 2009

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