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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 212257 Find in a Library
Title: When is an Intervening Line-Up Most Likely to Affect Eyewitness Identification Accuracy?
Journal: Legal and Criminological Psychology  Volume:10  Issue:2  Dated:September 2005  Pages:247-263
Author(s): Kathy Pezdek; Iris Blandon-Gitlin
Date Published: September 2005
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study conducted three experiments designed to determine the conditions under which viewing multiple line-ups is more likely to influence the accuracy of eyewitness identification.
Abstract: Numerous studies have demonstrated that if an individual's face is presented in multiple line-ups but the individual was not involved in the crime event at issue, an eyewitness of that event may mistakenly identify the person as having been at the event. Such mistaken identifications have been termed "unconscious transference," whereby persons will inaccurately recall the context in which they initially saw a familiar face. The central hypothesis tested in the current study was that factors associated with lower recognition of the originally viewed target face would make the memory more vulnerable to the suggestive influence of intervening line-ups. In each of the three experiments, a forensically relevant factor known to affect the accuracy of face recognition based on memory was manipulated to assess how the factor impacted the suggestive influence of an intervening line-up (photographic mug-shot display) on the accuracy of eyewitness identification in a subsequent in-person line-up. The forensically relevant factors in the three experiments were same-race versus cross-race target faces, having the intervening line-up (photographic mug-shot display) on the same day as the in-person line-up, and variation in exposure to the target face (10 seconds or 60 seconds). In each experiment, the factors associated with poorer memory for the target face led to a greater suggestive influence by the intervening line-up when it came to a mistaken identification in the subsequent line-up. The hypothesis was thus confirmed. The implications of these findings for the reliability of courtroom eyewitness identification testimony are discussed. 1 figure, 1 table, and 34 references
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Eyewitness memory; Eyewitness testimony; Investigative techniques; Line-up; Mug shots; Suspect identification; Witness credibility
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