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ERIC Number: EJ993152
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
How Should Witnesses Regulate the Accuracy of Their Identification Decisions: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?
Perfect, Timothy J.; Weber, Nathan
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v38 n6 p1810-1818 Nov 2012
Explorations of memory accuracy control normally contrast forced-report with free-report performance across a set of items and show a trade-off between memory quantity and accuracy. However, this memory control framework has not been tested with lineup identifications that may involve rejection of all alternatives. A large-scale (N = 439) lineup study explored regulation of identification decisions either with an initial forced-choice decision followed by free-report decision or with the reverse. Overall, initial free-report decisions provided stronger evidence of suspect guilt than forced-choice decisions, with little cost to memory quantity. The 2 response orders produced different patterns of response associated with control of accuracy. A model based on evaluation of the strength of the best candidate answer was able to provide only a partial fit to the data, suggesting that witnesses use more than simple memory strength of a candidate answer when controlling the accuracy of their responses in free report. (Contains 3 figures, 1 table and 3 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia