Phenomenological reports diagnose accuracy of eyewitness identification decisions

Matthew Palmer, Neil Brewer, Anna McKinnon, Nathan Weber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    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
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


    • Eyewitness identification
    • Eyewitness memory
    • Recollection and familiarity


    Dive into the research topics of 'Phenomenological reports diagnose accuracy of eyewitness identification decisions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this