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Witnesses' blindness for their own facial recognition decisions: a field study

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Abstract

In a field study, we examined choice blindness for eyewitnesses' facial recognition decisions. Seventy-one pedestrians were engaged in a conversation by two experimenters who pretended to be tourists in the center of a European city. After a short interval, pedestrians were asked to identify the two experimenters from separate simultaneous six-person photo lineups. Following each of the two forced-choice recognition decisions, they were confronted with their selection and asked to motivate their decision. However, for one of the recognition decisions, the chosen lineup member was exchanged with a previously unidentified member. Blindness for this identity manipulation occurred at the rate of 40.8%. Furthermore, the detection rate varied as a function of similarity (high vs. low) between the original choice and the manipulated outcome. Finally, choice manipulations undermined the confidence-accuracy relation for detectors to a greater degree than for blind participants. Stimulus ambiguity is discussed as a moderator of choice blindness.

    Research areas

  • CHOICE BLINDNESS, EYEWITNESS MEMORY, HUMAN MIND, MISINFORMATION, IDENTITIES, FAILURE, LINEUPS, SUSPECT, STRESS, IMAGES
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)624-636
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioral Sciences & the Law
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013