Effects of exposure time and cognitive operations on facial identification accuracy: A meta-analysis of two variables associated with initial memory strength

Brian H. Bornstein, Kenneth A. Deffenbacher, Steven D. Penrod, E. Kiernan McGorty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the present study, we conducted two separate meta-analyses in order to quantify the influence on facial identification accuracy of two variables related to initial memory strength for an unfamiliar face, specifically, length of exposure at the time of encounter and encoding operations as manipulated via stimulus processing instructions. Proportion correct was significantly higher for longer (M = 0.66) as compared to shorter exposure durations (M = 0.53) and when participants made social judgments of faces (M = 0.75) than when they attended to individual facial features (M = 0.71). The effect of increased exposure time was non-linear, with comparable increases exerting a greater effect for relatively short versus relatively long exposures. Neither substantive nor methodological variables were found to moderate the effect of exposure duration, and only date of publication appeared to moderate the effect of encoding operations. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-490
Number of pages18
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012

Keywords

  • cognitive
  • exposure duration
  • eyewitness
  • identification accuracy
  • memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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