When Snitches Corroborate : Effects of Post-identification Feedback from a Potentially Compromised Source. / Erikson, Blake; Lampinen, James M.; Wooten, Alex; Wetmore, Stacy; Neuschatz, Jeffrey S.

In: Psychiatry, Psychology, & Law, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2016, p. 148-160.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review




  • Blake Erikson
  • James M. Lampinen
  • Alex Wooten
  • Stacy Wetmore
  • Jeffrey S. Neuschatz


Feedback provided to eyewitnesses can influence memory as to how confident their previous line-up selections were. Witnesses given confirming feedback remember being more confident than witnesses who are told their selection was incorrect regardless of their accuracy. This can have a powerful impact on judges and juries. In this article, we examine the effect of feedback from a ‘snitch’ (a jailhouse informant). This manipulation often occurs in real cases, despite that fact that snitches could have something to gain from providing information to police. Our participants witnessed a staged crime and then identified the perpetrator from a target-absent line-up. Two days later, participants were provided with feedback and were probed for confidence. Results show that confirming feedback from a snitch has the same effect as a confession made by the actual suspect, and disconfirming feedback reduces confidence. Implications and relation to the extant literature on eyewitness confidence are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-160
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology, & Law
Issue number1
Early online date22 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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