Interview and test procedures that affect the confidence/accuracy relation in eyewitness memory for product identification.
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Holmes, Amanda E.
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The study of eyewitness memory thus far has focused on situations involving identification of a suspect that has allegedly committed a crime. The present research concerns eyewitness identification of products an individual may have encountered in the past that has supposedly caused them personal harm. The interview tactics used in pretrial preparation and a plaintiff's level of involvement with a particular product may affect the confidence/accuracy relation in claimants' product brand identification. Subjects packed various products into care packages and were tested on the brands of products they remember encountering either 10 minutes or 1 week earlier. Subjects provided confirmatory feedback for incorrect responses were more confident at both delay conditions. Subjects were also more confident in incorrect, falsely confirmed responses on target-present surveys than on target-absent surveys. Allowing subjects to select products for inclusion in the care package resulted in higher accuracy, confidence, and G scores as opposed to subjects who were provided products. However, asking subjects to justify their product selection at test did not alter accuracy, confidence, or G scores. Applications of the findings to civil cases involving eyewitness identification of product brand identification are discussed.