eCite Digital Repository

Multiple Confidence Estimates as Indices of Eyewitness Memory


Sauer, J and Brewer, N and Weber, N, Multiple Confidence Estimates as Indices of Eyewitness Memory, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 137, (3) pp. 528-547. ISSN 0096-3445 (2008) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2008 American Psychological Association

DOI: doi:10.1037/a0012712


Eyewitness identification decisions are vulnerable to various influences on witnesses' decision criteria that contribute to false identifications of innocent suspects and failures to choose perpetrators. An alternative procedure using confidence estimates to assess the degree of match between novel and previously viewed faces was investigated. Classification algorithms were applied to participants' confidence data to determine when a confidence value or pattern of confidence values indicated a positive response. Experiment 1 compared confidence group classification accuracy with a binary decision control group's accuracy on a standard old-new face recognition task and found superior accuracy for the confidence group for target-absent trials but not for target-present trials. Experiment 2 used a face mini-lineup task and found reduced target-present accuracy offset by large gains in target-absent accuracy. Using a standard lineup paradigm, Experiments 3 and 4 also found improved classification accuracy for target-absent lineups and, with a more sophisticated algorithm, for target-present lineups. This demonstrates the accessibility of evidence for recognition memory decisions and points to a more sensitive index of memory quality than is afforded by binary decisions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:eyewitness memory, eyewitness identification
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Forensic psychology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Sauer, J (Associate Professor Jim Sauer)
ID Code:93316
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:50
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2014-07-25
Last Modified:2014-08-14

Repository Staff Only: item control page