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Confidence and response time as indicators of eyewitness identification accuracy in the lab and in the real world

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-428
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Issue number4
Early online date6 Nov 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Jul 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 6 Nov 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Dec 2019


The criminal justice system should consider the confidence an eyewitness expresses when making an identification at the time the initial lineup procedure is conducted. High confidence expressed at this time typically indicates high accuracy in the identification. Because the suspect identification – not filler identifications or no identifications – matters most in the court of law, confidence-accuracy characteristic (CAC) analysis provides information most relevant to stakeholders. However, just as high confidence identifications indicate high accuracy, fast identifications may also indicate high accuracy. We tested whether a new technique that is similar to CAC analysis, called response time-accuracy characteristic (RAC) analysis, could inform stakeholders about the likely accuracy of an identification while usefully summarizing response time data. We argue this is the case in the lab and in the real world. Furthermore, CAC and RAC results are not completely redundant so both, considered together, are useful to the criminal justice system.

    Research areas

  • Eyewitness identification, confidence, response time, simultaneous lineup, police lineup, response-time accuracy characteristic analysis

    Structured keywords

  • Cognitive Science



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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

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    Embargo ends: 6/11/20

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    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


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