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The effect of eye-closure on accuracy of verbal description and subsequent face recognition

The effect of eye-closure on accuracy of verbal description and subsequent face recognition

Potts, Rebecca J and Davis, Josh P. ORCID: 0000-0003-0017-7159 (2012) The effect of eye-closure on accuracy of verbal description and subsequent face recognition. In: British Psychological Society Annual Conference 2012, 18-20 Apr 2012, London, UK.

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Objectives: ‘Verbal overshadowing’ refers to the tendency for individuals to perform worse on recognition tasks after giving a verbal description of the stimulus. Explanations for this phenomenon have revolved largely around recoding interference theory. In a separate paradigm, eye-closure has been isolated as a means of improving memory retrieval. The present study incorporated research from both paradigms into a single experimental design. Eye-closure was expected to be beneficial to memory retrieval and a description-identification relationship was predicted to emerge.
Design: A 2 (verbal description: eyes closed, eyes open) x 3 (Navon letter task: global Navon, local Navon, no Navon) independent measures experimental design was used, with an additional control group who provided no description and performed no Navon task.
Methods: Participants viewed a video of an actress before providing verbal descriptions of the individual, either with their eyes open or closed. The descriptions were coded for quantity and accuracy. Participants subsequently identified the target from a forced choice, target-present, sequential line-up.
Results: Participants with their eyes open produced significantly more descriptions of facial features, while those with eyes closed gave fewer incorrect general statements. The number of facial statements and the number of general statements were positively correlated with subsequent identification success, for ‘eyes open’ and ‘eyes closed’ groups respectively.
Conclusions: A unique effect of eye-closure is suggested to occur in the case of facial descriptions, as opposed to more general descriptions. The results also provide support for the recoding interference theory of verbal overshadowing.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Poster)
Additional Information: [1] This poster (F17) was presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference held from 18-20 April 2012 in London, UK. [2] Poster reference number LON195 was presented on 20 April 2012 - see programme at:$.cfm?file_uuid=EC16A8C8-FEC5-9E09-F991-3C833094D5DF&ext=pdf
Uncontrolled Keywords: face recognition, eyewitness identification, lineup, eye closure, eyewitness testimony, memory, navon letters
Subjects: Q Science > QM Human anatomy
R Medicine > RB Pathology
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Department of Psychology & Counselling
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:21

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