Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 373–394 | Cite as

Voice identification by human listeners: On earwitness reliability

  • Brian R. Clifford


This paper reviews what is currently known about voice identification by human listeners. Our own experimental data from a four-year research program into this topic is used to elucidate, support, and in some cases to contradict published work into the effects on voice identification of such factors as speech sample size and quality, voice disguise, delay in holding voice identification sessions, incidental as opposed to intentional memory for voices, the effects of the age of the witness, training in specific modes of encoding voices, and the relationship between objective accuracy and subjective feelings of certainty of correctness. It is concluded that the caution and suspicion currently accorded to visual identification must be extended also, and perhaps more so, to voice identification.


Experimental Data Research Program Social Psychology Specific Mode Subjective Feeling 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian R. Clifford
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNorth East London PolytechnicEngland

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