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The Role of Implicit Presentation in Eyewitness Testimony: Investigating Whether Subliminal Priming Can Modulate Suspect Identification
|Title:||The Role of Implicit Presentation in Eyewitness Testimony: Investigating Whether Subliminal Priming Can Modulate Suspect Identification|
|Contributors:||Sinnett, Scott (advisor)|
|Date Issued:||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.|
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|Appears in Collections:||
Honors Projects for Psychology|
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