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J Exp Psychol Appl. 2002 Mar;8(1):44-56.

The confidence-accuracy relationship in eyewitness identification: the effects of reflection and disconfirmation on correlation and calibration.

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  • 1School of Psychology, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia. neil.brewer@flinders.edu.au

Abstract

Participants viewed a simulated crime and attempted an identification from an 8-person target-present or target-absent lineup. The authors examined identification confidence-accuracy relations, contrasting a control condition (n = 310) with 2 manipulations designed to improve confidence scaling. Before indicating confidence, participants reflected on encoding and identification test conditions (n = 316) or suggested hypotheses about why their identification decision might have been wrong (n = 318). Confidence-accuracy correlations were weak and did not differ across conditions. However, for positive identifications, confidence and accuracy were well calibrated in the experimental conditions, although not in the control condition; similar patterns were observed for lineup rejections. Explanations for calibration differences in terms of discrimination difficulty, (mis)match between encoding and test stimuli, and the availability of confidence cues were advanced.

PMID:
12009176
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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