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NCJ Number: 77854 Find in a Library
Title: Eyewitness Behavior
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:4  Issue:4  Dated:Special issue (1980)  Pages:237-394
Author(s): G L Wells
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 154
Type: Conference Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A Canadian conference discussed research on eyewitness memory that was influenced by nonmotivational factors, with attention to the effects of eyewitness behavior on jury decisionmaking.
Abstract: Most recent research has ascertained that human memory is not like a camera and that eyewitness memory can be extremely unreliable. Three papers given at the conference dealt with the relationship between confidence and accuracy in eyewitness identifications, revealing the problems when persons have little or no awareness of the mental processes that lead to their decisions, their memories being independently influenced by external events that color an event emotionally or psychologically. The impact of expert psychological testimony on jurors' treatment of eyewitness testimony and jurors' verdicts was assessed. One paper asked how to optimally structure a lineup or picture array, while another looked at the race of a lineup constructor and its effect on the lineup composition. The influence of postevent information on eyewitnesses' descriptions, composite reconstructions, and identification of faces was also considered, along with the theoretical aspects of eyewitness performance, especially with regard to the role of perception and attention. The comparability of experimental results with real-world settings was studied, and the issue of age and how it affects eyewitness performance was noted. Finally, a study on memory for voices and its parallel to the literature on visual memory was reported. No references are cited.
Index Term(s): Accountability; Behavioral science research; Line-up; Suspect identification; Voice identification; Witnesses
Note: Consists of papers presented at a conference held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, June, 1980.
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