Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Studies exploring the change blindness phenomenon have consistently shown that individuals are surprisingly poor at detecting changes to visual scenes and identities in real-world interactions. The area of eyewitness identification has revealed a similar type of visual processing error; specifically, the tendency for eyewitnesses to incorrectly identify a perpetrator. Recently, researchers have attempted to merge these two areas, creating a combined change blindness/eyewitness paradigm, allowing for the study of variables of similar interest within the two areas. Using this type of combined paradigm, the present study explored the possibility of an own-gender bias within a change blindness/eyewitness experience. Participants viewed a video of a simulated house burglary, with the identity of the burglar changing halfway through the film. To assess for gender bias, two videos were created: one with two female burglars and one with two male burglars. After viewing the video, 144 participants were given a photo lineup and asked to identify the correct burglar. Contrary to what was expected, an own-gender bias failed to emerge in both change detection and identification accuracy. Implications for change blindness and eyewitness misidentification are further discussed.

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Psychology Commons