Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Number of Pages
The impact of stress on eyewitness recall and identification accuracy has been studied extensively but with somewhat inconsistent results. Understanding the effects of stress are important if they are to be generalized to victims or witnesses of real crimes. This study consisted of two experiments that used an extreme haunt and a haunted house to examine attendees’ ability to recall details of and identify actors encountered, as a function of state anxiety and in the context of Deffenbacher’s (1994) catastrophe model of memory performance under anxiety. The results showed that physiological (i.e., heart rate) and psychological (i.e., State Anxiety Inventory) measures of arousal were associated for extreme haunt attendees but not haunted house attendees. In contrast to previous research conducted by Valentine and Mesout (2009), the current research suggests that reported levels of stress can sometimes have minimal or no effect on eyewitness recall or identification accuracy.
Catastrophe model; Confidence; Eyewitness memory; Lineup identification; Sensation seeking; Stress
Cognitive Psychology | Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice | Social Psychology
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Ridgway, William Blake, "Eyewitness Recall and Identification Accuracy: Effects of Stress in an Extreme Haunt and a Haunted House" (2020). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 4021.
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