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The effects of pressure to report more details on memories of an eyewitness event

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The confidence with which an eyewitness recalls a memory is positively correlated with the likelihood that the jurors will believe that memory. In addition, the United States judiciary recognises confidence as a key factor in determining the accuracy of eyewitness reports. Although the effects of type of questioning on the accuracy of eyewitness memories are fairly well known, little is known about the effect of questioning on subjective confidence - or the relationship between confidence and accuracy. Participants in the present study witnessed a staged even and were questioned up to five times about that event. Some participants were pressured to report more details, whereas others were not. Results of this paper are powerful and clear; pressuring participants to report more details increased the number of accurate and inaccurate statements. However, pressuring participants to report more details did not change the predictive accuracy of their confidence judgements.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2000


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