The Effects of Memory Conformity and the Cross-Race Effect in Eyewitness Testimony

10 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2016 Last revised: 16 Jan 2017

Date Written: December 28, 2016


This study investigates the reliability of the eyewitness memory by analyzing the effects of Memory Conformity and Cross-Race Effect (CRE) among Asian participants. A controlled staged crime enactment (snatch theft) was initiated to assess both variables. Two experiments were conducted using a questionnaire with a total of 36 participants in a private university. Experiment-1 examined the effects of group conformity. After the live enactment and the filler task, participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: discussed and no discussed groups. All participants were given a questionnaire and was informed to complete it individually. Experiment-2 examined the cross-race effect. Participants were informed to answer the questionnaire individually and the results were analyzed based on the racial identity. No difference in memory accuracy was found between discussed and no discussed conditions in the experiment-1. However, in experiment-2, a different racial identity effect was found opposing the past literature.

Keywords: eyewitness memory, memory conformity, cross-race effect, live enactment, university setting

Suggested Citation

Perera-W.A., Hiran, The Effects of Memory Conformity and the Cross-Race Effect in Eyewitness Testimony (December 28, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Hiran Perera-W.A. (Contact Author)

UKM ( email )

43600 Bandar Baru Bangi
Bangi, Selangor 06010

Durham University ( email )

Old Elvet
Mill Hill Lane
Durham, DH1 3HP
United Kingdom

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