The current study investigated the recognition of faces of senior citizens in the context of a Silver Alert. Literature on face recognition and eyewitness identification has consistently found recognition failure due to factors such as Own-Age Bias, the Other-Race Effect, and Own-Gender Bias. Participants viewed a video of people in a naturalistic setting, a park. The target, an elderly woman, wore either typical clothing or atypical clothing (nightgown), was not present or was not present but replaced with a different senior. We measured accuracy, confidence, reaction time, and Prediction-of-Knowing in relation to type of clothing worn by the target as well as age, race, and gender of participants. We hypothesized that recognition of the target senior would be low but would be higher when the woman appeared in a nightgown (matching the stereotype of an individual with dementia) as compared to typical clothing. We did not find age, race, and gender effects on target recognition. We offer possible explanations for both significant and non-significant results as they apply to the unique population of missing elderly adults.
Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2016
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