Eyewitness identification: Retrospective self-awareness and the accuracy–confidence correlation

Saul M. Kassin
1985 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology  
Research has shown that despite people's intuitive beliefs to the contrary, there is only a weak and inconsistent correlation between eyewitness identification accuracy and confidence. Four experiments were conducted in order to test the hypothesis that retrospective self-awareness (RSA) would increase this correlation. In all studies, subjects watched a staged crime; immediately afterwards, they were asked to identify the culprit from a photospread and to indicate their confidence in that
more » ... idence in that judgment. In an RSA condition, subjects also viewed a videotape of their performance before rating their confidence. Collectively, the results showed an average correlation of .04 in the control groups and .48 in the RSA condition. In addition, the data tentatively supported a self-perception hypothesis that this manipulation is effective because it alerts subjects to valid but previously unobserved aspects of their own overt behavior (e.g., response latency). These findings are discussed for both their theoretical and forensic implications.
doi:10.1037/0022-3514.49.4.878 fatcat:wevd5gmlxzhsnbmfaohfqtkzca