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Evidence for a confidence–accuracy relationship in memory for same- and cross-race faces

Evidence for a confidence–accuracy relationship in memory for same- and cross-race faces

Published in: The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Volume 70, Issue 12, 2518-2534

Abstract
“Discrimination accuracy is usually higher for same- than for cross-race faces, a phenomenon known as the cross-race effect (CRE). According to prior research, the CRE occurs because memories for same- and cross-race faces rely on qualitatively different processes. However, according to a continuous dual-process model of recognition memory, memories that rely on qualitatively different processes do not differ in recognition accuracy when confidence is equated. Thus, although there are differences in overall same- and cross-race discrimination accuracy, confidence-specific accuracy (i.e., recognition accuracy at a particular level of confidence) may not differ. We analysed datasets from four recognition memory studies on same- and cross-race faces to test this hypothesis. Confidence ratings reliably predicted recognition accuracy when performance was above chance levels (Experiments 1, 2, and 3) but not when performance was at chance levels (Experiment 4). Furthermore, at each level of confidence, confidence-specific accuracy for same- and cross-race faces did not significantly differ when overall performance was above chance levels (Experiments 1, 2, and 3) but significantly differed when overall performance was at chance levels (Experiment 4). Thus, under certain conditions, high-confidence same-race and cross-race identifications may be equally reliable.”

Written by: Thao B. Nguyen, Kathy Pezdek, John T. Wixted
For full text: https://doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2016.1246578

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