Reaction time-based Concealed Information Test in eyewitness identification is moderated by picture similarity but not eyewitness cooperation

Katerina Georgiadou, Agatha Chronos, Bruno Verschuere, Melanie Sauerland*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The reaction time-based Concealed Information Test (RT-CIT) has high validity in assessing recognition of critical information. Findings on its usefulness for diagnosing face recognition in eyewitnesses are inconsistent. Experiment 1 (N = 82) tested whether closely matching the faces of the probes and irrelevants, as required for a fair lineup, undermines RT-CIT usefulness. Preregistered Experiments 2a and 2b (Ns = 48), tested the role of eyewitness cooperativeness for RT-CIT validity. All participants watched a mock crime video and then completed an RT-CIT. As expected, the usefulness of the RT-CIT was moderated by picture similarity, with better detection for non-matched faces. Unexpectedly, eyewitness cooperation (conceal vs. reveal recognition), did not affect the validity of the RT-CIT. A large CIT effect observed in Experiment 2b further suggested that-even with matched faces-the RT-CIT might be of use when encoding conditions during the crime were favorable. Cases in which witnesses are unwilling or afraid to make an explicit identification might concern another possible application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2278-2288
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Research
Issue number7
Early online date11 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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