Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Lampinen, James

Committee Member/Reader

Beike, Denise

Committee Member/Second Reader

Stevens, Marion

Committee Member/Third Reader

Thomas, Johanna


In crimes in which there is an eyewitness identification, confidence is usually a good predictor of accuracy. However, in some cases, estimator variables might affect the relationship between eyewitness confidence and accuracy. This study analyzes the effect of exposure duration on confidence during an eyewitness identification. According to the pristine conditions hypothesis (Wixed & Wells, 2017), if the system variables are optimal, confidence and accuracy will be strongly related, even if the viewing conditions are suboptimal. Participants in this online study viewed a mock crime in one of two conditions: brief exposure or long exposure. Following viewing the crime, participants completed a distractor task before making an identification in a culprit-absent or culprit-present lineup (randomly assigned). Following the identification, participants indicated their level of confidence in their choice. I hypothesized that highly confident participants would be highly accurate in the long duration condition but not the brief duration condition. However this was not the case. Highly confident witnesses were highly confident, regardless of the lengthy of time they were exposed to the perpetrator’s face.


eyewitness identification, confidence, estimator variables, pristine conditions hypothesis