Confidence in Identifications, Malleability

Eyewitnesses are often asked to indicate how confident they are in the accuracy of their identification and other testimony-relevant judgments. These reports are highly influential in evaluations of identification accuracy. Unfortunately, eyewitnesses' confidence reports are highly malleable, easily influenced by myriad variables. The solution is to record witnesses' confidence in their identification and report of crime details immediately, so as to preserve whatever useful information confidence provides.

A witness's confidence in the accuracy of his or her identification is perhaps the most studied of all variables related to eyewitness decision making—for good reason. Eyewitness confidence is the most intuitively appealing variable for use in assessments of accuracy. Indeed, it is specially highlighted by the U.S. Supreme Court for use in such evaluations. This recommendation is consistent ...

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