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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 159548 Find in a Library
Title: Earwitness Evidence: Memory for a Perpetrator's Voice (From Adult Eyewitness Testimony: Current Trends and Developments, P 101-124, 1994, David Frank Ross, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-159543)
Author(s): A D Yarmey
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Cambridge University Press
New York, NY 10011-4211
Sale Source: Cambridge University Press
Journal Division
40 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011-4211
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Earwitness testimony, in contrast to eyewitness testimony, has not received a great deal of attention from either psychological researchers or the courts, possibly because of the greater reliance on information processed visually rather than orally.
Abstract: Some crimes may include both visual and auditory information, or may only be seen but not heard. For some crimes, however, such as those committed in darkness, with perpetrators wearing masks, or over the telephone, the sole source of identification evidence may be auditory. In many jurisdictions, the claim of a single eyewitness that he or she saw the accused commit the crime is sufficient for the defendant to be found guilty. Whether earwitness identification reports are as incriminating as eyewitness identification reports in convicting defendants is uncertain, since earwitness identification is significantly less accurate than eyewitness identification. More research on earwitness identification is needed to replicate earlier studies and to investigate other factors such as the influence of stress on memory for voices and the accuracy of identification from voice lineups versus voice and visual lineups before strong generalizations are warranted. Studies of the fairness of voice lineups are reported, as well as studies involving earwitness descriptions of voices, effects of group discussion on earwitness recall, the impact of stereotypes on earwitness memory, the impact of exposure duration and retention interval on earwitness accuracy and confidence, the accuracy of earwitness memory for telephone voices, and the accuracy of earwitness and eyewitness memory when showups are used. 59 references, 7 tables, and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Court research; Evidence; Line-up; Science and Technology; Suspect identification; Testimony; Witness credibility; Witnesses
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