Verbalizing facial memory: Criterion effects in verbal overshadowing

Joseph Clare*, Stephan Lewandowsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


This article investigated the role of the recognition criterion in the verbal overshadowing effect (VOE). In 3 experiments, people witnessed an event, verbally described a perpetrator, and then attempted identification. The authors found in Experiment 1, which included a "not present" response option and both perpetrator-present (PP) and perpetrator-absent (PA) lineups, an increased reluctance to identify a person from both lineup types after verbalization. Experiment 2 incorporated a forced-choice procedure, and the authors found no effect of verbalization on identification performance. Experiment 3 replicated the essential aspects of these results. Consequently, the VOE may reflect a change in recognition criterion rather than a changed processing style or alteration of the underlying memory trace. This conclusion was confirmed by computational modeling of the data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-755
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004

Structured keywords

  • Memory


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