Neil Brewer's research while affiliated with Flinders University and other places

Publications (160)

Article
Emotion recognition difficulties are considered to contribute to social‐communicative problems for autistic individuals and awareness of such difficulties may be critical for the identification and pursuit of strategies that will mitigate their adverse effects. We examined metacognitive awareness of face emotion recognition responses in autistic (N...
Article
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Autistic adults often experience difficulties in taking the perspective of others, potentially undermining their social interactions. We evaluated a quick, forced-choice version of the Adult Theory of Mind (A-ToM) test, which was designed to assess such difficulties and comprehensively evaluated by Brewer et al. (2017). The forced-choice version (t...
Article
Behaviors such as gaze aversion and repetitive movements are commonly believed to be signs of deception and low credibility; however, they may also be characteristic of individuals with developmental or mental health conditions. We examined the effect of five behaviors that are common among autistic individuals—gaze aversion, repetitive movements,...
Article
Emotion recognition difficulties are considered to contribute to social‐communicative problems for autistic individuals. Prior research has been dominated by a focus on forced‐choice recognition response accuracy for static face presentations of basic emotions, often involving small samples. Using free‐report and multiple‐choice response formats, w...
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We hypothesized that autistic adults may be erroneously judged as deceptive or lacking credibility due to demonstrating unexpected and atypical behaviors. Thirty autistic and 29 neurotypical individuals participated in video-recorded interviews, and we measured their demonstration of gaze aversion, repetitive body movements, literal interpretation...
Article
Evaluations of early screening tests for autism commonly rely on receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and comparisons of area under the curve (AUC). Whether AUC differs significantly from chance or between test items is not always assessed. Two recent and independent evaluations of the Brief Autism Detection in Early Childhood (BADEC) c...
Article
The optimal level of suspect-filler similarity in police lineups remains undefined. Difficulties inherent in pinpointing precise and replicable variations in face similarity create challenges for examining the effects of suspect-filler similarity on identification outcomes and providing decisive lineup construction recommendations. We tested the re...
Preprint
Verbal intelligence—which relates to memory performance, abstract reasoning, and g—is often important to account for within psychological research. However, the time demands and financial costs associated with researcher-administered testing using valid measures of intelligence limit researchers’ ability to include such measures within their resear...
Article
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Reports of cybercrime being committed by people on the autism spectrum often imply that autism may be more prevalent among cybercriminals than the general population, although this remains unproven. In an online survey of 302 participants, we found that autistic individuals (n = 25) were more likely to report engagement in cybercrime than non-autis...
Article
The potential influence of eyewitnesses’ metacognitions on identification decisions when confronted with a police lineup is largely unexplored. In two experiments, we investigated whether eyewitnesses’ pre-lineup memory strength inferences influenced the likelihood of their choosing from a lineup. In experiment 1, manipulating witnesses’ memory str...
Article
According to expectancy violations theory, displays of behavior considered “unusual” during an interaction will trigger scrutiny of an individual. Such scrutiny may be detrimental in forensic contexts, where deception detection is emphasized. Autistic individuals, in particular, may be scrutinized unfavorably given unusual nonverbal behavior associ...
Article
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Police lineups are widely used despite evidence that eyewitnesses frequently err by failing to identify the culprit or mistakenly identifying innocent suspects or lineup fillers. We examine how police investigators, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges interpret the information witnesses provide when confronted with a traditional lineup and d...
Article
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Current guidelines for selecting lineup fillers are imprecise. Consequently, filler characteristics likely vary widely across lineups, potentially affecting identification decisions in important but unexplained ways. We report 2 experiments investigating the impact of 1 source of variation, the number of relatively high versus low similarity match-...
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Eyewitnesses to multiple-culprit crimes are often asked to try to identify the culprits from different lineups during a police investigation. In two experiments (total N = 557), we show that disconfirming feedback after an identification attempt for one culprit can impair identification performance on a subsequent lineup for a different culprit. In...
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Early identification of autism, followed by appropriate intervention, has the potential to improve outcomes for autistic individuals. Numerous screening instruments have been developed for children under 3 years of age. Level 1 screeners are used in large-scale screening to detect at-risk children in the general population; Level 2 screeners are co...
Article
Objective: Three studies examined the influence of a witness's identification speed on the identification decision of another witness. Hypotheses: Based on research documenting cowitness effects we expected cowitness speed to affect identification decisions from target-absent photospreads. Without prior research testing the effects of cowitness...
Article
Eyewitness researchers recommend that “not present” and “don’t know” response options should be presented with police lineups. Although it is important that witnesses—most of whom are unlikely to be familiar with the identification task—are fully cognizant of all response options available to them, an understanding of how explicit non‐identificatio...
Article
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Presenting a blank lineup—containing only fillers—to witnesses prior to showing a real lineup might be useful for screening out those who pick from the blank lineup as unreliable witnesses. We show that the effectiveness of this procedure varies depending on instructions given to witnesses. Participants (N = 462) viewed a simulated crime and attemp...
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Providing eyewitness testimony involves monitoring one's memory to provide a detailed and accurate account: reporting details likely to be accurate and withholding potentially inaccurate details. Autistic individuals reportedly experience difficulties in both retrieving episodic memories and monitoring their accuracy, which has important implicatio...
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Objective: The Executive Committee of the American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of the American Psychological Association) appointed a subcommittee to update the influential 1998 scientific review paper on guidelines for eyewitness identification procedures. Method: This was a collaborative effort by six senior eyewitness researchers, who...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The Executive Committee of the American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41 of the American Psychological Association) appointed a subcommittee to update the influential 1998 scientific review paper on guidelines for eyewitness identification procedures. Method: This was a collaborative effort by six senior eyewitness researchers, who al...
Article
Despite the importance of eyewitness reports in police investigations, there are many unanswered questions about why witnesses report what they do. For example, they sometimes withhold accurate coarse-grain information, instead providing inaccurate fine-grain answers. Researchers argue that witnesses prefer fine-grain reports because they perceive...
Article
Problems associated with eyewitness identification decisions have long been highlighted by memory researchers (e.g., Loftus, 1979), with overwhelming evidence that witnesses can err, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Guided by the rationale that witnesses have access to potentially probative memorial information not captured by the traditiona...
Article
We examined whether perspective taking (or Theory of Mind) deficits that characterize autistic individuals predict whether they have trouble extricating themselves from situations in which police officers erroneously suspect them of a crime. Autistic and typically developing adults listened to scenarios in which they were placed in situations where...
Article
Brewer, Young, and Barnett reported a comprehensive psychometric evaluation of a new adult theory of mind measure (A-ToM) with a sample of high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) adults. Although correlations with existing theory of mind (ToM) instruments (i.e., the Strange Stories; the Frith- Happé animations) were reported, relationships...
Article
While autism spectrum disorder screening tools provide a useful resource for practitioners, the reality is they are underused. The justifications often provided include the time required for administration and the training involved. A brief tool with good psychometric properties that require minimal training is required. This study examined the dev...
Article
Although depression and anxiety are the most common comorbidities in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), descriptive data for their prevalence among autistic adults are limited. This study provides descriptive data for a cohort of 155 autistic adults (mean age = 27.1 years, SD = 11.9) of average IQ on the short-form version of the Depr...
Article
Two studies examined whether deficits in theory of mind—the ability to understand and predict the intent, behaviors, and emotions of others—are related to slowness in recognizing that there is something suspicious about the way in which an interaction is unfolding. Participants listened to vignettes, some culminating in a crime, and indicated when...
Article
It is advocated that police lineup administrators should be blind to the identity of suspects to prevent them from influencing witnesses’ decisions. Yet, it has been found that a lineup administrator who is blind to the suspect's identity may bias a witness's decision if he or she has previously administered the lineup to another witness to the sam...
Article
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Deficits in Theory of Mind (ToM)—the ability to interpret others’ beliefs, intentions and emotions—undermine the ability of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to interact in socially normative ways. This study provides psychometric data for the Adult-Theory of Mind (A-ToM) measure using video-scenarios based in part on Happé’s (Instruc...
Article
How well children remember negative events is not fully understood. Previous research has failed to simultaneously test memory and perceptions of memory for both negative and positive events. Children (n = 38, 7–17 years) recruited from a hospital following accidental injury were tested for their memory of an injury-producing accident (negative eve...
Article
Background and objectives: Data-driven processing, peri-event fear, and trauma memory characteristics are hypothesised to play a core role in the development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. We assessed the relationships between these characteristics and Posttraumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms in a sample of youth. Methods: Study 1 (N = 36, 7-16 ye...
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Compared to categorical identifications, culprit likelihood ratings (having the witness rate, for each lineup member, the likelihood that the individual is the culprit) provide a promising alternative for assessing a suspect's likely guilt. Four experiments addressed 2 broad questions about the use of culprit likelihood ratings evidence by mock-jur...
Article
Witnesses frequently make an error when reporting events they have observed. Although some error in witness reports is to be expected and does not mean the testimony as a whole is flawed, an important question is how such an error affects judgments of credibility of the witness. In 2 experiments we investigated the impact of a single demonstrated (...
Article
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Confidence judgments in 2-alternative decisions have been the subject of a great deal of research in cognitive psychology. Sequential sampling models have been particularly successful at explaining confidence judgments in such decisions and the relationships between confidence, accuracy, and response latencies. Across 5 experiments, we derived pred...
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The study examined the confidence accuracy relationship, and the influence of child characteristics on clinician confidence, when predicting a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder during screening of 125 referred children aged under 3.5 years. The diagnostic process included observation, interview, language and developmental testing. Clinical judg...
Article
Background & objectives: The present study addresses gaps in knowledge regarding the association between trauma memory processes and posttraumatic stress responses in youth. Our primary goal was to explore the relative contribution of perceptions of trauma memory quality versus narrative trauma memory characteristics to explain overall adjustment....
Article
Research suggests that accessible coarse-grain (i.e. general) information is sometimes under-reported in memory accounts. In two experiments, socially motivating conditions were manipulated to determine whether, and under what contexts, coarse-grain information is avoided because eyewitnesses are motivated to be specific and willing to risk accurac...
Article
We examined whether media reports linking criminal behaviour and autism spectrum disorder foster negative attitudes towards individuals with autism spectrum disorder. In a between-subjects design, participants were exposed to (a) a media story in which a murderer was labelled with autism spectrum disorder (media exposure condition) or not labelled...
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When making a memorial judgment, respondents can regulate their accuracy by adjusting the precision, or grain size, of their responses. In many circumstances, coarse-grained responses are less informative, but more likely to be accurate, than fine-grained responses. This paper describes a novel eyewitness identification procedure, the grain size li...
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Previous studies have shown that, when people asked to retrieve something from memory have the chance to regulate memory accuracy, the accuracy of their final report increases. Such regulation of accuracy can be made through one of several strategies: the report option, the grain-size option, or the plurality option. However, sometimes an answer ca...
Book
ull of case studies, this book explores the reasons behind adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) becoming involved in the criminal justice system. It discusses the establishment of intervention programs and calls for a review of forensic assessment for people with ASD.
Article
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When presented with a sequential lineup, witnesses see each member of the lineup individually, essentially making a yes/no decision for each person shown. An important policy question is whether witnesses should be allowed to see an additional lap of a sequential lineup. We investigated the impact of a second lap on eyewitness decision making and o...
Chapter
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The demonstrated fallibility of eyewitness identification evidence has motivated researchers to search for indices of identification decision accuracy. The initial sections of this chapter discusses perceptions of the confidence-accuracy (CA) relationship by lay-persons and decision-makers in the criminal justice system, and then reviews theoretica...
Article
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People are more accurate at recognizing faces of their own race than faces from other races, a phenomenon known as the other-race effect. Other-race effects have also been reported in some perceptual tasks. Across 3 experiments, White and Chinese participants completed recognition tests as well as the complete paradigm of the composite task, which...
Article
We investigated the effect on eyewitness identification performance of witnesses making an association between the perpetrator of a crime and someone well known to them. Participants were either cued or not cued to associate the perpetrator of a mock-crime with somebody famous before attempting to identify the culprit from a target-present photoarr...
Article
Face identity recognition has widely been shown to be impaired in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this study we examined the influence of inversion on face recognition in 26 adults with ASD and 33 age and IQ matched controls. Participants completed a recognition test comprising upright and inverted faces. Participants with ASD...
Article
Attention bias is common in adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but is less studied in children. Children (n = 22) who experienced a potentially distressing procedure in an outpatient clinic (removal of K-wires from orthopaedic fractures) and a group of medically unwell children (illness group; n = 27) were compared with healthy contr...
Article
This study evaluated the predictive validity of the Autism Detection in Early Childhood (ADEC; Young, Autism detection in early childhood: ADEC. Australian Council of Educational Research, Camberwell, VIC 2007) and a well-established screening tool, the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS; Schopler et al. The childhood autism rating scale (CARS). W...
Article
The Autism Detection in Early Childhood (ADEC; Young, 2007) was developed as a Level 2 clinician-administered autistic disorder (AD) screening tool that was time-efficient, suitable for children under 3 years, easy to administer, and suitable for persons with minimal training and experience with AD. A best estimate clinical Diagnostic and Statistic...
Article
PurposeAlthough inconsistencies undermine the credibility of evidence from a witness or victim, anecdotal evidence from many court cases suggests that they do not reduce the impact of confession evidence. This research provides the first empirical test of this idea by experimentally manipulating the consistency of confession evidence. Drawing on pr...
Article
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Several archival studies of eyewitness identification have been conducted, but the results have been inconsistent and contradictory. We identify some avoidable pitfalls that have been present in previous analyses and present new data that address these pitfalls. We explored associations among various estimator variables and lineup outcomes for 833...
Article
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Despite myriad possible differences in perspectives brought to an investigative interview by eyewitnesses and interviewers, little is known about how such differences might affect eyewitness memory reports or interviewer behavior. Two experiments tested the impact of such differences in a dynamic interaction paradigm in which participants served as...
Article
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Prior research points to a meaningful confidence-accuracy (CA) relationship for positive identification decisions. However, there are theoretical grounds for expecting that different aspects of the CA relationship (calibration, resolution, and over/underconfidence) might be undermined in some circumstances. This research investigated whether the CA...
Article
Individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically show impairment on face recognition tasks. Performance has usually been assessed using overt, explicit recognition tasks. Here, a complementary method involving eye tracking was used to examine implicit face recognition in participants with ASD and in an intelligence quotient-matched non-...
Article
Eyewitness-identification tests often culminate in witnesses not picking the culprit or identifying innocent suspects. We tested a radical alternative to the traditional lineup procedure used in such tests. Rather than making a positive identification, witnesses made confidence judgments under a short deadline about whether each lineup member was t...
Article
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Although the sequential lineup has been proposed as a means of protecting innocent suspects from mistaken identification, little is known about the importance of various aspects of the procedure. One potentially important detail is that witnesses should not know how many people are in the lineup. This is sometimes achieved by backloading the lineup...
Chapter
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Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)1 have various cognitive and behavioral characteristics that can (a) render them vulnerable to becoming enmeshed in criminal activity, and (b) result in their being evaluated unfavorably when interacting with criminal justice personnel such as the police, lawyers and juries. Here we (1) provide an overview...
Article
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Sauer, Brewer, and Weber (2008) advanced a novel procedure for testing eyewitness recognition memory. Rather than providing a single decision (i.e., identifying a lineup member or rejecting the lineup as a whole), participants rated their confidence that each lineup member was the culprit. Classification algorithms determined when patterns of confi...
Article
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When compared with simultaneous lineup presentation, sequential presentation has been shown to reduce false identifications to a greater extent than it reduces correct identifications. However, there has been much debate about whether this difference in identification performance represents improved discriminability or more conservative responding....
Article
Memory conformity occurs when one person's memory report influences another's. Memory conformity is more likely to occur when the information comes from a credible source, and when internal evidence is weak. Here, we investigate whether there are situational variations in how heavily participants weigh internal cues to accuracy when confronted with...
Article
Wells ("The psychology of lineup identifications," Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1984, 14, 89-103) proposed that a blank lineup (an initial lineup of known-to-be-innocent foils) can be used to screen eyewitnesses; witnesses who chose from a blank lineup (initial choosers) were more likely to make an error on a second lineup that contained a...
Article
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Theories of confidence processing for recognition judgments suggest that confidence indexes the degree of match between a presented stimulus and an image in memory (ecphoric similarity). Recent research has demonstrated that having participants rate their confidence that a face had been previously seen provides an equivalent or a better index of th...
Article
Although face recognition deficits in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), including Asperger syndrome (AS), are widely acknowledged, the empirical evidence is mixed. This in part reflects the failure to use standardized and psychometrically sound tests. We contrasted standardized face recognition scores on the Cambridge Face Memory Tes...
Article
This research examined the influence of peripheral message cues on clinicians' judgment about the psychological status of clients. The elaboration likelihood model (ELM) of social persuasion suggests that peripheral message cues are likely to exert a greater influence on clinicians' judgments when a client's presentation meets some, but not all, di...
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Eyewitness identifications play an important role in many police investigations and courtroom decisions. Identification decision accuracy is shaped not only by the quality of a witness's memory but also by social-influence variables. Some variables can be categorized as general impairments, whereas others produce biases against a specific suspect....