Impact of disguise on identification decision and confidence with simultaneous and sequential lineups
Mansour, Jamal K.
Beaudry, J. L.
Bertrand, M. I.
Lindsay, R. C. L.
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Mansour, J., Beaudry, J., Bertrand, M., Kalmet, N., Melsom, E. & Lindsay, R. (2012) Impact of disguise on identification decision and confidence with simultaneous and sequential lineups, Law and Human Behavior, vol. 36, , pp. 513-526,
Prior research indicates that disguise negatively affects lineup identifications, but the mechanisms by which disguise works have not been explored, and different disguises have not been compared. In two experiments (Ns = 87 and 91) we manipulated degree of coverage by two different types of disguise: a stocking mask or sunglasses and toque (i.e., knitted hat). Participants viewed mock-crime videos followed by simultaneous or sequential lineups. Disguise and lineup type did not interact. In support of the view that disguise prevents encoding, identification accuracy generally decreased with degree of disguise. For the stocking disguise, however, full and 2/3 coverage led to approximately the same rate of correct identifications--which suggests that disrupting encoding of specific features may be as detrimental as disrupting a whole face. Accuracy was most affected by sunglasses and we discuss the role metacognitions may have played. Lineup selections decreased more slowly than accuracy as coverage by disguise increased, indicating witnesses are insensitive to the effect of encoding conditions on accuracy. We also explored the impact of disguise and lineup type on witnesses' confidence in their lineup decisions, though the results were not straightforward.