Phenomenological reports diagnose accuracy of eyewitness identification decisions

Matthew Palmer, Neil Brewer, Anna McKinnon, Nathan Weber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study investigated whether measuring the phenomenology of eyewitness identification decisions aids evaluation of their accuracy. Witnesses (N = 502) viewed a simulated crime and attempted to identify two targets from lineups. A divided attention manipulation during encoding reduced the rate of remember (R) correct identifications, but not the rates of R foil identifications or know (K) judgments in the absence of recollection (i.e., K/[1 - R]). Both RK judgments and recollection ratings (a novel measure of graded recollection) distinguished correct from incorrect positive identifications. However, only recollection ratings improved accuracy evaluation after identification confidence was taken into account. These results provide evidence that RK judgments for identification decisions function in a similar way as for recognition decisions; are consistent with the notion of graded recollection; and indicate that measures of phenomenology can enhance the evaluation of identification accuracy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-145
    Number of pages9
    JournalActa Psychologica
    Volume133
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

    Keywords

    • Eyewitness identification
    • Eyewitness memory
    • Recollection and familiarity

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