Itiel E. Dror, Ailsa Peron, Sarah Hind, & David Charlton
Twenty-seven participants made a total of 2,484 judgments whether a pair of .fingerprints matched or not. A quarter of the trials acted as a control condition. The rest of the trials included top-down influences aimed at biasing the participants to find a match. These manipulations included emotional background stories of crimes and explicitly disturbing photographs from crime scenes, as well as subliminal messages. The data revealed that participants were affected by the top-down manipulations and as a result were more likely to make match judgments. However, the increased likelihood of making match judgments was limited to ambiguous fingerprints. The top-down manipulations were not able to contradict clear non-matching fingerprints. Hence, such contextual information actively biases the ways gaps are filled, but was not sufficient to override clear bottom-up information.
Dror, I.E., Peron, A., Hind, S., & Charlton, D. (2005). When emotions get the better of us: The effect of contextual top-down processing on matching fingerprints. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 19(6), 799-809.