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Nosewitness identification: effects of negative emotion.


ABSTRACT: Every individual has a unique body odor (BO), similar to a fingerprint. In forensic research, identification of culprit BOs has been performed by trained dogs, but not by humans. We introduce the concept of nosewitness identification and present the first experimental results on BO memory in witness situations involving violent crimes. Two experiments indicated that BO associated with male characters in authentic videos could later be identified in BO lineup tests well above chance. Moreover, culprit BO in emotional crime videos could be identified considerably better than the BO of a male person in neutral videos. This indicates that nosewitness identification benefits from emotional encoding. Altogether, the study testifies to the virtue of body odor as a cue to identify individuals observed under negative emotion.

SUBMITTER: Alho L 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4303424 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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