Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Evan Brown

Second Advisor

Kenneth A. Deffenbacher


Recognition of previously seen persons and recall of the circumstances of their encounter were tested in a situation' where subjects were unaware of the subsequent recognition task. Subjects encountered four: persons, one of each sex. in. two separate encounters. Prior to a lineup one week later, only 51 subjects (N = 145) failed to' recall either the number and/or the sex of the persons encountered, while only 28. correctly recalled both the number and sex and that it was two different persons in each encounter. Results from the lineup confirmed, previous suggestions that subjects (N = 155) are better able to recognize persons than recall where they encountered them. The best recognition performance came from male subjects' recognition of female criminals, a finding that contradicts previous research. The best recall performance came from female subjects' recall of where they encountered, male criminals. Prompted by considerable variation in the indictment rates and the recognizability of the individual suspects, the issues of representative sampling of stimuli and generalization are discussed as potential problems in facial recognition studies. Consideration was also given to the manner in which recall of the circumstances of encounter is typically calculated.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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Psychology Commons