Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Maxwell Gwynn

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The ability to gauge the accuracy of eyewitnesses’ recall of a crime scene is of great investigative importance. Previous research has shown that outright confidence judgements may not be a very reliable method of assessing witnesses’ recall accuracy. The purpose of the present research was to apply the Remember/Know judgement paradigm to eyewitnesses’ recall in the hopes of finding a more effective technique for judging accuracy. In this paradigm individuals are asked to make judgements about each recalled item in terms of whether they specifically Remember the item (including context and time of presentation), as opposed to simply having a sense of familiarity (Knowing) for the item. In Experiment l mock witnesses were given a list of items and were asked to indicate which of the items were presented in the crime scene (a set of slides depicting a crime). Participants were to indicate which of these items they “Remembered” versus having only a sense of “Knowing.” In order to investigate the effects of delay on witnesses’ recall of the crime, some witnesses in Experiment 2 were questioned immediately following viewing of the crime while others were questioned after a 48 hour delay. As well, one half of the participants in each study were provided misleading information about the event viewed. In addition to replicating the misinformation effect, results of both experiments indicate that witnesses showed a high degree of accuracy for items that were judged as being “Remembered”, but much lower accuracy for items judged as being “Known”. These results indicate that Remember/Know judgements may be an effective tool for evaluating witnesses’ recall accuracy and differentiating correct recall from recall of misinformation.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season