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NCJ Number: 134746 Find in a Library
Title: Descriptions of Distinctive and Non-Distinctive Voices Over Time
Journal: Journal of the Forensic Science Society  Volume:31  Issue:4  Dated:(October/December 1991)  Pages:421-428
Author(s): A D Yarmen
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Canada Council on Research in the Social Sciences
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: A study was conducted to test the reliability of voice identification testimony over time and to investigate the influence of distinctiveness on voice memory.
Abstract: A total of 295 introductory psychology students rated descriptions of selected voice characteristics for either a distinctive or a non-distinctive voice heard for 36 seconds and retained for a maximum of 1 week. Subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 delay conditions: a perception condition; an immediate memory condition; a 24-hour delay condition; and a 1-week delay condition. Distinctive voices differed from non-distinctive voices on each of the 10 characteristics at the 0.01 level of confidence: rate of speech; rate variation; pitch; expressive style; age; enunciation; inflection; tremor; pauses; and nasality. The results show that descriptions of distinctive voices were reliable over a 1-week retention period except for the rate of speaking. In contrast, descriptions of non-distinctive voices were more adversely affected by the length of the retention interval. These findings indicate that witness descriptions of non-distinctive voices should be given, if possible, within 24-hours of an incident. 2 tables and 23 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Voice identification
Index Term(s): Perception; Suspect identification; Time series
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