The Effect of Introspection and Verbalization on the Confidence-Accuracy Correlation

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Steve D. Charman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nadja Schreiber Compo

Third Advisor's Name

Ronald Fisher


lineups, eyewitness, confidence, accuracy

Date of Defense



The present study examined the effect of introspection and verbalization on the confidence-accuracy correlation. Recent research has likened the process of eyewitness confidence assessment to a process of attitude formation. Following this analogy, it was hypothesized that introspection would strengthen, while verbalization would weaken, the confidence-accuracy correlation. Participants viewed a mock crime, made a lineup identification and either introspected or verbalized reasons for their identification (or did neither) before assessing their confidence. Results revealed that while introspection failed to significantly improve the confidence-accuracy correlation, verbalization decreased the correlation. These findings provide further theoretical support for the conceptualization of eyewitness confidence formation as analogous to attitude formation. In addition, these findings suggest that there are other mechanisms that can have a detrimental influence on the confidence-accuracy correlation. On the basis of these findings it is recommended that eyewitnesses refrain from verbalizing information about their lineup identification prior to providing their confidence.



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