The effect of retention interval on the confidence-accuracy relationship for eyewitness identification

James Sauer, Neil Brewer, Felicia Zweck, Nathan Weber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    82 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Recent research using a calibration approach indicates that eyewitness confidence assessments obtained immediately after a positive identification decision provide a useful guide as to the likely accuracy of the identification. This study extended research on the boundary conditions of the confidence-accuracy (CA) relationship by varying the retention interval between encoding and identification test. Participants (N = 1,063) viewed one of five different targets in a community setting and attempted an identification from an 8-person target-present or -absent lineup either immediately or several weeks later. Compared to the immediate condition, the delay condition produced greater overconfidence and lower diagnosticity. However, for choosers at both retention intervals there was a meaningful CA relationship and diagnosticity was much stronger at high than low confidence levels.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)337-347
    Number of pages11
    JournalLaw and Human Behavior
    Volume34
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

    Keywords

    • Calibration
    • Confidence-accuracy
    • Eyewitness identification
    • Retention interval

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