Face Value? How Jurors Evaluate Eyewitness Face Recognition Ability

49 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2022

See all articles by Adele Quigley-McBride

Adele Quigley-McBride

Duke University School of Law

William Crozier

Duke University School of Law

Chad Dodson

University of Virginia - Psychology

Jennifer Teitcher

Duke University School of Law

Brandon L. Garrett

Duke University School of Law

Date Written: December 11, 2021

Abstract

Although an eyewitness’s subjective confidence at trial is not a reliable indicator of how accurately they can recognize a face, jurors rely heavily on how confident an eyewitness appears on the witness stand. Unlike the witnesses’ confidence, face memory tests provide objective information about an eyewitness’s accuracy. It is not known, however, how jurors might use such face memory test results when evaluating eyewitness testimony. In three online studies (N1=3143, N2=1156, N3=3180), we show that mock-jurors changed evaluations appropriately when eyewitnesses reported objectively good or poor face memory. Mock-jurors also appropriately integrated face memory information with reports of high or low post-identification confidence, except when the eyewitness reported low confidence and a good face memory score. These patterns persisted when mock-jurors also read expert testimony explaining relevant face memory concepts. While these findings are promising, future research should investigate alternative methods to help jurors appropriately consider objective face memory ability.

Keywords: Eyewitness testimony, juror decision-making, face recognition, eyewitness identification, eyewitness confidence

Suggested Citation

Quigley-McBride, Adele and Crozier, William and Dodson, Chad and Teitcher, Jennifer and Garrett, Brandon L., Face Value? How Jurors Evaluate Eyewitness Face Recognition Ability (December 11, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4032866 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4032866

Adele Quigley-McBride (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

Box 90360
Durham, NC 27708-0360
United States
27705 (Fax)

William Crozier

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Chad Dodson

University of Virginia - Psychology ( email )

United States

Jennifer Teitcher

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Brandon L. Garrett

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States
919-613-7090 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.brandonlgarrett.com/

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