Assessing nonchoosers' eyewitness identification accuracy from photographic showups by using confidence and response times

M. Sauerland*, A. Sagana, S.L. Sporer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional


While recent research has shown that the accuracy of positive identification decisions can be assessed via confidence and decision times, gauging lineup rejections has been less successful. The current study focused on 2 different aspects which are inherent in lineup rejections. First, we hypothesized that decision times and confidence ratings should be postdictive of identification rejections if they refer to a single lineup member only. Second, we hypothesized that dividing nonchoosers according to the reasons they provided for their decisions can serve as a useful postdictor for nonchoosers' accuracy. To test these assumptions, we used (1) 1-person lineups (showups) in order to obtain confidence and response time measures referring to a single lineup member, and (2) asked nonchoosers about their reasons for making a rejection. Three hundred and eighty-four participants were asked to identify 2 different persons after watching 1 of 2 stimulus films. The results supported our hypotheses. Nonchoosers' postdecision confidence ratings were well-calibrated. Likewise, we successfully established optimum time and confidence boundaries for nonchoosers. Finally, combinations of postdictors increased the number of accurate classifications compared with individual postdictors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-403
JournalLaw and Human Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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