Special Issue Article
Witnesses' Blindness for their Own Facial Recognition Decisions: A Field Study
Article first published online: 9 SEP 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Special Issue: Memory Formation and Suggestibility in the Legal Process
Volume 31, Issue 5, pages 624–636, September/October 2013
How to Cite
Sagana, A., Sauerland, M. and Merckelbach, H. (2013), Witnesses' Blindness for their Own Facial Recognition Decisions: A Field Study. Behav. Sci. Law, 31: 624–636. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2082
- Issue published online: 9 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 9 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 13 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 13 DEC 2012
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. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.