Exposure duration: effects on eyewitness accuracy and confidence

Amina Memon, R. Bull, Lorraine Hope

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    83 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The current study examined the relationship between the length of exposure to a face in an eyewitness setting and identification accuracy and confidence. A sample of 164 young (ages 17-25) and older (ages 59-81) adults viewed a simulated crime in which they saw the culprit's face for a short (12 s) or long (45 s) duration. They were then tested with a target absent (a line-up not containing the culprit) or target present line-up. Identification accuracy rates for both young and older participants were significantly higher under the long exposure condition. In the short exposure condition, witnesses who had made a correct identification of the target were more confident than incorrect witnesses. In the long exposure condition the confidence ratings of accurate and inaccurate witnesses did not differ. Discussion focuses on the extent to which extended exposure may inflate confidence judgments and variables that may moderate the relationship between exposure duration and face recognition accuracy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)339-354
    Number of pages15
    JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology
    Volume94
    Issue numberPt 3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Keywords

    • PERSON IDENTIFICATION
    • FACE RECOGNITION
    • GENERAL ACCEPTANCE
    • AGE-DIFFERENCES
    • OLDER ADULTS
    • MEMORY
    • YOUNG
    • AVAILABILITY
    • INFORMATION
    • TESTIMONY

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