Anxious and nonanxious children's face identification

Ryan J. Fitzgerald, Heather L. Price, Deborah A. Connolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impact of stress on children's face identification is not well understood, partly because of the ethical and methodological challenges posed by this line of research. In the present research, such challenges were addressed by having 4-year-old and 5-year-old children (n = 80) participate in swimming lessons that were anxiety provoking for some, but not all, children. Information processing conditions were also manipulated by varying event frequency and retention interval. Children's identifications were examined after both a short (1.5–4 weeks) and long (1 year) delay. Anxiety was largely unrelated to the accuracy of children's swimming instructor identifications; however, after a long delay, anxiety had a negative effect on correct line-up rejections. In addition, the confidence–accuracy relation was influenced by the quality of the information processing conditions but only after a short delay. Implications for child witnesses are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-593
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date13 Feb 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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