Be the first to like this
Rape complainants are often alcohol intoxicated during the attack, raising questions about the accuracy of their testimony and their ability to gauge the likely accuracy of the testimony that they provide. This study examines the effects of acute alcohol intoxication on lineup identification accuracy and the confidence-accuracy relationship. We randomly assigned women (n=153) to consume alcohol (dosed to achieve a 0.08% BAC) or tonic water, controlling for alcohol expectancy. Women then participated in an interactive hypothetical sexual assault scenario and, twenty-four hours or seven days later, attempted to identify the assailant from a perpetrator present or a perpetrator absent simultaneous lineup and reported their decision confidence. Overall, levels of identification accuracy were similar across the alcohol and tonic water groups. However, women who had consumed tonic water as opposed to alcohol identified the assailant with higher confidence on average. Further, calibration analyses suggested confidence is predictive of accuracy regardless of alcohol consumption. The theoretical and applied implications of our results are discussed.