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Validity in judgments of high- and low- accurate witnesses of own and other ethnic groups.
Mälardalen University, Department of Social Sciences.
2008 (English)In: Legal and Criminological Psychology, ISSN 1355-3259, E-ISSN 2044-8333, Vol. 13, p. 107-121Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Research has shown that people often have difficulties estimating eyewitness accuracy correctly. In most previous studies examining validity in credibility judgments, participants have assessed the accuracy of witnesses who have been homogeneous in their memory performance. This study investigated validity in judgments of witnesses who varied widely in memory. A further purpose was to examine whether judgmental validity was moderated by the witness’ ethnic ingroup/outgroup status.

Methods: Participants (N=120) rated the credibility of videotaped testimonies of high- and low- accurate in-group (Swedish, n=4) and out-group (immigrants, n=4) witnesses who were genuinely trying to recall a criminal event.

Results: Participants assigned more credibility to high- than to low- accurate in-group witnesses, while out-group witnesses received low credibility ratings regardless of their actual memory performance. Path analyses demonstrated that the self-reported confidence of in-group, but not of out-group witnesses predicted participants’ accuracy judgments.

Conclusions: The results indicate that the validity in judgments of in-group witnesses can be better than has previously been implied. Investigators may have difficulty distinguishing high- and low-accurate witnesses from other ethnic groups, and may also systematically underestimate the reliability of ethnic out-group witnesses. Implications for legal practices are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 13, p. 107-121
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-3418DOI: 10.1348/135532506X152949ISI: 000253380500008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-39749190042OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-3418DiVA, id: diva2:116082
Available from: 2007-04-20 Created: 2007-04-20 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf