Visual stereotypes in an eyewitness context
The goal of this research was to assess the degree to which visual stereotypes influence recall and recognition accuracy in an eyewitness context. Initially, 24 undergraduate students were surveyed to determine their visual representation for the stereotype of a "mugger". A confederate's appearance was altered to produce a consistent- versus inconsistent-stereotypical mugger. Staged muggings were videotaped with the confederate appearing either consistent or inconsistent with the stereotype. Participants (N = 101) watched one of the staged muggings and then described what they saw and what the mugger looked like. Following these descriptions participants examined a target-absent lineup. Descriptions were coded for amount of information recalled, number of intrusions, and accuracy. In addition, identification responses were assessed for accuracy. Results and implications will be discussed in terms of the strengths and weaknesses of eyewitness memory and testimony.
Pozzulo, J, & Weeks, M. (Murray). (2007). Visual stereotypes in an eyewitness context. In New Research on Social Perception (pp. 109–126).