Document Type


Publication Date



confidence–accuracy relationship, distance, discriminability, eyewitness identification


The distance from which an eyewitness views a perpetrator is a critical factor for eyewitness identification, but has received little research attention. We presented three mock-crime videos to participants, varying distance to three perpetrators (3, 10, or 20 m). Across two experiments, increased distance reduced empirical discriminability in the form of a mirror effect, such that correct identifications decreased while false identifications increased. Moreover, high confidence identifications were associated with high accuracy at 3 m (Experiment 1 and 2) and 10 m (Experiment 2), but not at 20 m. We conclude that eyewitnesses may be less likely to identify a perpetrator viewed at a distance, and also more likely to falsely identify an innocent suspect. Furthermore, there may be certain boundary conditions associated with distance and the impact it has on the confidence-accuracy relationship. More research is needed to elucidate the effect of estimator variable manipulations on the confidence-accuracy relationship.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


This is the peer reviewed, accepted manuscript version of the following article:

Lockamyeir, RF, Carlson, CA, Jones, AR, Carlson, MA, Weatherford, DR. The effect of viewing distance on empirical discriminability and the confidence–accuracy relationship for eyewitness identification. Appl Cognit Psychol. 2020; 1–14.

which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

Available for download on Saturday, May 01, 2021

Included in

Psychology Commons