Positive versus negative face recognition decisions: confidence, accuracy, and response latency



A large amount of eyewitness identification and face recognition research has investigated the confidence–accuracy (CA) relationship. One consistent finding is that positive recognition decisions (or choosers) demonstrate superior CA calibration to negative recognition decisions (or non-choosers). This experiment tested whether an explanation of this difference, based on the information available for confidence judgements, accounted for the pattern of CA calibration in positive and negative face recognition decisions. CA calibration for positive and negative decisions was compared for both item and associative recognition judgements. Significantly greater resolution was observed for positive decisions in both the item and associative conditions. Similarly, for both judgement types, positive decisions evidenced a stronger response latency–accuracy relationship than negative decisions. Implications for diagnosing the accuracy of eyewitness identification are discussed. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.