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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221985 Find in a Library
Title: Is There a Magical Time Boundary for Diagnosing Eyewitness Identification Accuracy in Sequential Line-Ups?
Journal: Legal and Criminological Psychology  Volume:13  Issue:1  Dated:February 2008  Pages:123-135
Author(s): James D. Sauer; Neil Brewer; Gary L. Wells
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study examined two issues previously unexplored with sequential line-ups for eyewitness identifications, i.e., the validity of the 10-12 seconds rule for distinguishing accurate from inaccurate identifications and the reliability of eyewitness identifications made with high confidence.
Abstract: The study found no evidence that a shorter time for making a positive identification in a sequential line-up (viewing one person at a time rather than all persons together) was related to greater identification accuracy. On the other hand, the study found that relatively high confidence expressed in identifications from sequential line-ups was related to identification accuracy, at least when measured immediately after the decision. The study involved 381 participants (157 men and 224 women), who were recruited from first-year undergraduate psychology students (16-64 years old). Participants were tested on two different sequential line-ups, one for each of two characters (a thief and a waiter) seen in a video of a simulated crime. All participants were first presented with the thief line-up first. On the first (thief) line-up, participants were randomly assigned to a target-present or target-absent condition. The second (waiter) line-up reversed the target-presence status of the first line-up in order to ensure that each participant contributed both a target-present and target-absent data point. Events were presented and responses recorded through a computer-assisted system. 3 tables, 2 figures, and 29 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Evidence collection; Eyewitness testimony; Line-up; Suspect identification
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