The effect of exposure to multiple lineups on face identification accuracy.

Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California, USA.
Law and Human Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.16). 05/2001; 25(2):185-98. DOI: 10.1023/A:1005697431830
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study examines the conditions under which an intervening lineup affects identification accuracy on a subsequent lineup. One hundred and sixty adults observed a photograph of one target individual for 60 s. One week later, they viewed an intervening target-absent lineup and were asked to identify the target individual. Two days later, participants were shown one of three 6-person lineups that included a different photograph of the target face (present or absent), a foil face from the intervening lineup (present or absent), plus additional foil faces. The hit rate was higher when the foil face from the intervening lineup was absent from the test lineup and the false alarm rate was greater when the target face was absent from the test lineup. The results suggest that simply being exposed to an innocent suspect in an intervening lineup, whether that innocent suspect is identified by the witness or not, increases the probability of misidentifying the innocent suspect and decreases the probability of correctly identifying the true perpetrator in a subsequent test lineup. The implications of these findings both for police lineup procedures and for the interpretation of lineup results in the courtroom are discussed.

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