Effects of eye-closure on confidence-accuracy relations in eyewitness testimony

A. Vredeveldt, J.D. Sauer

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Confidence judgments about the quality of memory can have serious implications in eyewitness settings. Three experiments investigated the effect of eye-closure during eyewitness interviews on confidence-accuracy relations in event recall. In all experiments, participants viewed video-taped events and were subsequently questioned about the event, while they had their eyes open or closed. Participants provided confidence ratings for each response. We found that participants were generally able to monitor the accuracy of their responses, although they displayed underconfidence for imprecise responses. Importantly, across all experiments, eye-closure increased accuracy without significantly inflating confidence or impairing confidence-accuracy relations. Moreover, in Experiment 3, reducing distraction (e.g., through eye-closure) significantly reduced overconfidence. Thus, unlike most other investigative interview protocols that facilitate recall, eye-closure improves recall accuracy with no apparent cost, and some evidence of benefit, to metamemory. Practical implications of these findings are discussed, and hypotheses regarding potential theoretical mechanisms are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-58
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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