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Giving participants confirming feedback after an identification affects their reports of the identification decision and the witnessed event (Wells & Bradfield, 1998). The purpose of Experiment 1 was to investigate if post-identification feedback corresponded with observable behavioral changes of eyewitnesses. In order to test this question, videos of participant-witnesses from Smalarz and Wells (2014) were analyzed. Witnesses given confirming feedback were rated as more competent and accurate than witnesses who received no feedback. Feedback did not affect how long witnesses talked or how many words they spoke. Experiment 2 investigated whether feedback affects photospread administrators by having them interact with a witness who has received confirming feedback or not on an identification decision. Then, participant-administrators constructed a photospread for the witness’s second identification. The primary dependent variable was how difficult the photospread was, as measured by the similarity between the filler photos and the suspect. The average similarity rating was not significantly different across feedback conditions. These experiments contribute to knowledge about eyewitness identification decisions, the primary cause of wrongful convictions.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Douglass, Amy

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file


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