Meredith Allison, associate professor of psychology, recently published an article on people's memories for cars and manufacturer symbols. Coauthors on the paper were Amy Overman, associate professor of psychology, Meghan Braun '11, Molly Campbell '11, and John R. Price.
The article focused on the importance of knowing cars from a legal standpoint. For example, some eyewitnesses to crimes may only see the getaway car. The work was a result of a collaboration with Amy Overman, graduates Meghan Braun and Molly Campbell, and John R. Price of Carolina Child Psychology.
Title: Recognition and recall of vehicles and manufacturer symbols: Implications for eyewitness vehicle identifications
Description: The purpose of this study was to examine people’s recall and recognition of cars because some witnesses to crimes may see only the getaway car. We compared participants’ accuracy in identifying vehicles and manufacturer symbols in a free recall versus recognition questionnaire format. Participants in the recognition condition were more accurate than those in the free recall condition on many of the questions. Across conditions, participants had the most difficulty in remembering the Mazda 3-Series Truck symbol and the Buick and Subaru symbols. The majority of participants were accurate at identifying the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Honda symbols, and participants with more driving experience were more accurate on some of the questions. Men were more accurate than women on several of the vehicle questions, but on only one manufacturer symbol question. We discuss future eyewitness research and the implications of this study.
Allison, M., Overman, A. A., Braun, M., Campbell, M., & Price, J. R. (2014). Recognition and recall of vehicles and manufacturer symbols: Implications for eyewitness vehicle identifications. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 10, 83-97.
Link to online article: http://www.apcj.org/journal/index.php?mode=view&item=92