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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77861 Find in a Library
Title: Perspectives on the Impact of Lineup Composition, Race, and Witness Confidence on Identification Accuracy
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:4  Issue:4  Dated:special issue (1980)  Pages:315-321
Author(s): J C Brigham
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Grant Number: BNS-27476
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Lindsay and Wells study on lineup composition and identification accuracy leads to this discussion on the interaction among bias in instructions to the witness; presence or absence of the criminal from the lineup: similarity between the suspect and the other lineup members; Bayesian analysis, and race of lineup members, witness, and lineup constructor.
Abstract: Although Lindsay and Wells suggest that witness confidence has little or no relationship to witness accuracy, a recent field study found a substantial accuracy-confidence relationship when criminal-present photo lineups were used. However, findings on the accuracy-confidence relationship in criminal-absent lineups are not clear partially because of ambiguity in the definition of confidence in this situation. Moreover, little attention has been paid to the race of the person who constructs the photo or corporeal lineup. Recent research results lead to the prediction of greatest accuracy when the lineup constructor and lineup members are of the same race and the witness is of a different race. Issues in the applicability of the results of Bayesian analyses to the judicial system include the tendency to see researchers solely as advocates for the defense and the tendency of people to disregard statistical summaries, such as base rate data and research results, when making individual decisions. An additional issue concerns Bayesian diagnosticity ratios (derived from rates of correct and false identifications) which can be logically and statistically equivalent to one another but differ considerably in their legal applications and value relevance. Notes and 13 references are given. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Accountability; Blank line-up; Data integrity; Line-up; Racial discrimination; Suspect identification; Witnesses
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