Gender Differences In Eyewitness

Great Essays
If people were to examine eyewitness reports for a case, they will realize that these reports may be similar to each other, but none of them are the same. Throughout the era, eyewitness experts have been conducting researches to uncover the reasons that led to these differences, and they have identified that sex is an important factor causing the variations in people’s eyewitness reports. Between the 1920s to 1970s, numerous studies have been conducted on the impact of sex on eyewitness abilities, and they have yielded mixed results. Some researchers stated that males perform better than female in eyewitness tests, some said that females produce better results than male, while others concluded that there is no difference between males’ and …show more content…
They have conducted two studies regarding the role of attention and own-gender bias in facial recognition. In the first study, 113 undergraduate students (68 females and 45 males) were shown 20 target faces (10 females and 10 males) in random order, each was presented for 2 seconds. Following the study phase, participants will complete a 3-minute filler task, and be asked to identify the target faces from a series of 40 faces. Some participants completed the study phase under full attention condition, while others will be distracted by a soundtrack. The result shows that females are more attentive to female faces during encoding and that the divided attention has a greater impact on female’s own-gender bias in facial recognition. In the second study, 502 undergraduate students (280 females and 222 males) viewed a stimulus video with five different adults, each has distinctive physical appearance from another, while completing a distraction task. One male and one female were chosen as target, and target-present and target-absent lineups were constructed for each target. Participants were asked to identify the two targets from two lineups, and they are either (a) a target-present lineup for the female …show more content…
When legal professionals and investigators are assigning values to an eyewitness account, they must be aware of the impact on the eyewitness account due to the individual’s gender. As of now, there is no one single agreed answer on how does the gender impact individual’s eyewitness accounts overall. However, investigators can pay closer attention to the impact of gender on the details, such as the target’s physical feature and dress-related items, of the account, and be able to retrieve more accurate, useful information from eyewitnesses. Furthermore, lawyers should present eyewitness experts in court to examine the effect of gender on eyewitness accounts. Due to the numerous contradicting study results, the impact of gender on eyewitness abilities is constantly changing, and the jury will need to rely on experts to get a better understanding of the constantly evolving topic. Understanding these impacts is crucial for the trial of facts to make a sound judgment and to avoid the wrongful conviction of an innocent

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