Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Psychology Dept.


Meghan Housley


The purpose of this study is to determine whether confidence inflation in eyewitness testimony can be altered by the effects of self-perception and public commitment, as manipulated by identification style. In order to investigate these specific effects, identifications and confidence reports were made using both private and public methods. Additionally, target-present and target-absent lineups were used in order to assess their relative effects and to control participant accuracy.

Results revealed that the best confidence-accuracy correlations, as determined by a comparison from pre-lineup measures, were a result of post-lineup, private identifications. This indicates that self-perception may be more responsible for confidence inflation than public commitment, and that higher confidence levels do not necessarily lead to poorer confidence-accuracy correlations as previously believed. Implications for eyewitness identification and the justice system are discussed.


eyewitness testimony, confidence inflation, identification style, self-perception, public commitment

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