The Effect of Pre-Event Instructions on Eyewitness Identification Stage 1 Registered Report Manuscript [post]

Mario J. Baldassari, Kara N. Moore, Ira Hyman, LORRAINE HOPE, Eric Mah, D. Stephen Lindsay
2021 unpublished
Research on eyewitness identification often involves exposing participants to a simulated crime and later testing memory using a lineup. We conducted a systematic review showing that pre-event instructions, instructions given before event exposure, are rarely reported and those that are reported vary in the extent to which they warn participants about the nature of event or tasks. At odds with the experience of actual witnesses, some studies use pre-event instructions explicitly warning
more » ... tly warning participants of the upcoming crime and lineup task. Both the basic and applied literature provide reason to believe that pre-event instructions may impact eyewitness identification performance. In Experiment 1, we will test the effect of pre-event instructions on lineup identification decisions and confidence. Participants will receive non-specific pre-event instructions (i.e., "watch this video") or eyewitness pre-event instructions (i.e., "watch this crime video, you'll complete a line-up later") and complete a culprit absent or present lineup. In Experiment 2, we will manipulate exposure duration and pre-event instructions to determine if pre-event instructions differentially impact high or low quality eyewitness events. If pre-event instructions impact eyewitness identification accuracy, then the findings of existing studies need to be considered in the context of their pre-event instructions and future work will be needed to determine how instructions interact with existing systems and estimator variables.
doi:10.31219/ fatcat:kwpjz3g6dvawpp3gdmbqmj4urq