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NCJ Number: 192462 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Stereotyping Ricochet: Complex Effects of Racial Distinctiveness on Identification Accuracy
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:25  Issue:6  Dated:December 2001  Pages:605-627
Author(s): Heather M. Kleider; Stephen D. Goldinger
Date Published: December 2001
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Bethesda, MD 20892-5465
Grant Number: 1-R01-DC0435-01
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tested whether the presence of a racially distinct (Black) person affected witnesses' recollection and identification of surrounding white people.
Abstract: Experiments 1 (n=347) and 2 (n=286) addressed the central question of whether recognition accuracy for a white target was affected by the presence of a Black accomplice. Experiment 3 (n=184) tested whether general distinctiveness, rather than racial distinctiveness, led to recognition errors. Experiment 4 (n=139) examined whether factors beyond distinctiveness co-varied with recognition errors. Regarding eyewitness accuracy for an event, the researchers expected more errors for white targets accompanied by Black confederates (experimental condition) than by white confederates (control). A staged accident was witnessed by participants, followed by a lineup. In three experiments, identification accuracy decreased in the experimental conditions relative to the control conditions. Additional data suggested that attention focused on the Black confederate led to reduced recollection of the other confederates (white) at the event. This pattern did not generalize to a condition in which garish hair color was substituted for race. This suggests that racial distinctiveness rather than general physical distinctiveness results in reduced attention by witnesses to confederates of the majority race. 3 figures and 50 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Eyewitness memory; Eyewitness testimony; Racial discrimination; Witness credibility; Witnesses
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