skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 89765 Find in a Library
Title: Reliability of Eyewitness Testimony - A Psychological Perspective (From Psychology of the Courtroom, P 119-168, 1983, Norbert L Kerr and Robert M Bray, ed. - See NCJ-89761)
Author(s): S Penrod; E Loftus; J Winkler
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 50
Sponsoring Agency: Academic Press, Inc
San Diego, CA 92101-4495
Sale Source: Academic Press, Inc
Promotions Manager
525 B. Street
Suite 1900
San Diego, CA 92101-4495
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the literature on eyewitness reliability, particularly regarding the basic processes of human memory and their relationships to eyewitness reliability, facial recognition, and the eyewitnesses' role in the legal system.
Abstract: The authors discuss the many sources of unreliability affecting the acquisition, retention, and retrieval of witnesses' material. These sources include stimulus events (e.g., exposure time, event complexity, event stressfulness), witness factors (e.g., expectations, information processing strategies), the length of the retention interval, distortion and changes in memory occurring over time, question biases, and lineup instruction biases. They also examine studies dealing with eyewitness activities related to suspect identification (e.g., photo spreads, mug shots, facial composites) and evaluate several possible means of improving or extending eyewitness performance, including use of different modes of questioning, hypnosis, and lie detectors. About 250 references are cited.
Index Term(s): Eyewitness testimony; Facial Recognition/Recall; Polygraphs; Questioning under hypnosis; Suspect identification; Witness credibility
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.