Simultaneous Versus Sequential Presentation in Testing Recognition Memory for Faces

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Chris Wahlheim, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Three experiments examined the issue of whether faces could be better recognized in a simultaneous test format (2- alternative forced choice [2afc]) or a sequential test format (yes–no). all experiments showed that when target faces were present in the test, the simultaneous procedure led to superior performance (area under the roc curve), whether lures were high or low in similarity to the targets. However, when a target- absent condition was used in which no lures resembled the targets but the lures were similar to each other, the simultaneous procedure yielded higher false alarm rates (experiments 2 and 3) and worse overall performance (experiment 3). this pattern persisted even when we excluded responses that participants opted to withhold rather than volunteer. We conclude that for the basic recognition procedures used in these experiments, simultaneous presentation of alternatives (2afc) generally leads to better discriminability than does sequential presentation (yes–no) when a target is among the alternatives. However, our results also show that the opposite can occur when there is no target among the alternatives. an important future step is to see whether these patterns extend to more realistic eyewitness lineup procedures.

Additional Information

American Journal of Psychology, 128(2), 173-195
Language: English
Date: 2015
False alarms, Police lineups, Volunteerism, Experimentation, Memory, Criminals, Police, Correlations, Eyewitness identification, Decision making

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