SARMAC 2011 abstract


Gender and Race Effects Involved in the Effect of Eye-Closure on Eyewitness Memory for a Live Altercation

Annelies Vredeveldt, University of York; Steven D. Penrod, HaeRim Jin, Veronica A. Cortez, Alexandra Bennet-Roach, Erin Kearns, & Jacqueline Howe, John Jay College, City University of New York

Closing the eyes helps witnesses to remember more. We extended previous findings by examining memory for a forensically relevant live altercation, and examined the role of gender and race of the witness in the eye-closure effect. Overall, eye-closure significantly improved both free and cued recall of the witnessed event. When questioned about the event, female witnesses performed better overall, but significant benefits of eye-closure were only observed for male witnesses. Eye-closure benefits in cued recall were more pronounced for Caucasian witnesses than for African-American and Hispanic witnesses, although future research should address the role of race more directly.