Date of Graduation

8-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Psychological Science

Advisor

James Lampinen

Committee Member

Denise Beike

Second Committee Member

William Levine

Third Committee Member

Lindsay Ham-Holm

Keywords

Confidence, Context Reinstatement, Eyewitness, Justice System, Rapport, Steering

Abstract

Confidence can be a strong predictor of accuracy if circumstances are ideal (Wixted & Wells, 2017), but ideal circumstances are not always present. As such it is important to understand ways to ameliorate potentially negative effects on eyewitness metacognition. Rapport building, though seen as an important element of police/witness interaction (Vallano et al., 2015), can lead to some potentially negative memory effects (Wright et al., 2015). Additionally steering, or the process of directing a witness toward a particular suspect, can increase false identifications. Recently the researcher has developed a paradigm meant to better calibrate confidence by reinstating the context of making the identification decision. All of these variables were examined with their relation to choosing behavior and self reports of confidence in choosing. Rapport did not significantly affect anything. Steering increased the likelihood of choosing the designated suspect and decreased confidence in decisions. All of the variables interacted providing the most confidence in those who underwent the novel paradigm, had positive rapport, had not been steered, and correctly identified the guilty suspect. The implications of this research both in terms of the greater eyewitness literature and in terms of the effects on the judicial system are discussed.

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