The effects of alcohol intoxication on accuracy and the confidence-accuracy relationship in photographic simultaneous line-ups

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Nilda Karoğlu
  • Katarzyna Zelek
  • Hannah Ryder
  • Joyce E. Humphries
  • Melanie K. T. Takarangi

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Leicester
  • Edge Hill University
  • School of Psychology, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.


Acute alcohol intoxication during encoding can impair subsequent identification accuracy, but results across studies have been inconsistent, with studies often finding no effect. Little is also known about how alcohol intoxication affects the identification confidence–accuracy relationship. We randomly assigned women (N = 153) to consume alcohol (dosed to achieve a 0.08% blood alcohol content) or tonic water, controlling for alcohol expectancy. Women then participated in an interactive hypothetical sexual assault scenario and, 24 hours or 7 days later, attempted to identify the assailant from a perpetrator present or a perpetrator absent simultaneous line-up and reported their decision confidence. Overall, levels of identification accuracy were similar across the alcohol and tonic water groups. However, women who had consumed tonic water as opposed to alcohol identified the assailant with higher confidence on average. Further, calibration analyses suggested that confidence is predictive of accuracy regardless of alcohol consumption. The theoretical and applied implications of our results are discussed.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-391
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date27 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2017