When testifying in court, witnesses are motivated to try as hard as possible to give an accurate account. This study tested the proposition that extra effort by eyewitnesses during a memory test can lead to higher confidence ratings without any accompanying changes in accuracy. Participant-witnesses answered multiple-choice questions about a classroom visitor who had spoken 5 days earlier. In the high-motivation condition participants could earn prizes based on their memory test performance; in the low-motivation condition there were no special incentives. Although the motivation manipulation did not affect mean witness confidence, the confidence-accuracy and effort-accuracy correlations were substantially smaller in the high-motivation condition than in the low-motivation condition. Furthermore, the confidence ratings for those participants who reported expending high levels of effort in both motivation conditions were significantly higher than the confidence ratings for the low-effort participants, despite the fact that response accuracy did not differ as a function of reported effort. These findings have important implications for understanding how pressures to perform well in the courtroom can affect eyewitness confidence.