Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/32127

The Role of Implicit Presentation in Eyewitness Testimony: Investigating Whether Subliminal Priming Can Modulate Suspect Identification

File SizeFormat 
Simpson_Austin_Honors_Thesis.pdf1.76 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Item Summary

Title: The Role of Implicit Presentation in Eyewitness Testimony: Investigating Whether Subliminal Priming Can Modulate Suspect Identification
Authors: Simpson, Austin
Advisor: Sinnett, Scott
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: The criminal justice system relies heavily on eyewitness testimony for the prosecution and investigation of criminals. Extensive research has shown that post-event information can severely alter or reconstruct memory. However, despite empirical evidence demonstrating that implicitly presented information can influence memory and behavior, no research has been conducted regarding the ability of information that is presented below conscious awareness to modulate eyewitness identification. This is precisely what was investigated in the current manuscript. Participants were instructed to watch a short video that depicted a man committing a crime, and were then required to identify the culprit out of a sequential lineup presented on a computer screen. The color of the shirt that each suspect wore was systematically primed by a subliminally presented color word. Critically, the color prime either did, or did not match the color of the shirt that the suspect wore. The findings showed a very high false identification rate, with more than 90% of participants falsely choosing a suspect, despite the actual culprit never being shown. Contrary to expectations, when compared to chance levels participants did not choose suspects more frequently if they had been implicitly primed with a matching color word. Given the powerful determinants of memory bias, the present findings could be of interest to the criminal justice system.
Pages/Duration: 22 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/32127
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for Psychology



Items in ScholarSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.