Detection of imitated voices, who are reliable earwitnesses?
Keywords:eatwitness, reliability, hearing, age, dialect, imitation
AbstractFactors affecting an individual's ability to identify people aurally are of forensic importance. This paper investigates how topic, dialect, gender, age, and hearing status affect detection of an imitated voice. Two imitations of the same person, but on different topics, were used as familiarization voices. One topic was associated with this person, and the other was not. Using discrimination sensitivity (d-prime) it was found that topic had a significant impact on d', as did age (but only when the topic was not associated with the imitated person). Dialect, gender and hearing status were not significant. The older group of listeners was less convinced by the imitations and in particular the one not associated with the person being imitated. These results imply that the validity of earwitness evidence is negatively affected by age and topic.
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