To explore the forensic implications of 'verbal overshadowing' in young and older eyewitnesses, we examined the effects of providing a verbal face description on subsequent performance in a lineup task. Young (18-30 years) and older (60-80 years) adults viewed a videotaped crime and performed some unrelated cognitive tasks. Participants in the experimental condition were then asked to supply a description of the target person in the event or to perform a control task. Upon completing the description/control task participants attempted to identify the target person from a target present photo-lineup presented in a sequential or simultaneous mode. Older participants made more false choices and sequential testing reduced correct choices. There was a weak trend consistent with verbal overshadowing that was unrelated to age as well as measures of verbal and face-matching expertise. Although overshadowing reduced performance only slightly, it appeared to affect the self-reported use of a feature-matching strategy linked to accurate decisions by young adults and inaccurate decisions by senior adults. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.
- SEQUENTIAL LINEUP PRESENTATION
- EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION
- PERCEPTUAL EXPERTISE