Earwitnesses: effects of accent, retention and telephone
Article first published online: 11 JAN 2006
Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Applied Cognitive Psychology
Volume 20, Issue 2, pages 187–197, March 2006
How to Cite
Kerstholt, J. H., Jansen, N. J. M., Van Amelsvoort, A. G. and Broeders, A. P. A. (2006), Earwitnesses: effects of accent, retention and telephone. Appl. Cognit. Psychol., 20: 187–197. doi: 10.1002/acp.1175
- Issue published online: 27 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 11 JAN 2006
An experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of accent, telephone and a relatively long retention interval (3 or 8 weeks) on speaker identification. Three-hundred and sixty participants heard the target's voice and were asked to identify the target by means of a line-up consisting of 6 voices. Half of the participants were given a target-present line-up and the other half a target-absent line-up. The results showed that 24% of participants correctly identified the target in the target-present condition (hits), whereas 50% of participants incorrectly identified a person as the target in the target-absent condition (false alarms). The speaker with the standard-accented voice was more often correctly recognized than the speaker with the non-standard-accented voice. No difference was found between identification accuracy after one, three or eight weeks and between the telephone and non-telephone conditions. It can be concluded that there is a relatively high probability that an innocent defendant is identified as the perpetrator, even in a procedurally correct voice line-up (in this experiment 8%). Furthermore, reliability may be drastically reduced when the perpetrator has a strong accent, unfamiliar to the listener. On the other hand, reliability of a voice line-up seems not to be affected by a presentation over the telephone, as well as by a retention interval of at least 8 weeks. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.