, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 242-247

PC_Eyewitness: Evaluating the New Jersey method

Abstract

One important variable in eyewitness identification research is lineup administration procedure. Lineups administered sequentially (one at a time) have been shown to reduce the number of false identifications in comparison with those administered simultaneously (all at once). As a result, some policymakers have adopted sequential administration. However, they have made slight changes to the method used in psychology laboratories. Eyewitnesses in the field are allowed to take multiple passes through a lineup, whereas participants in the laboratory are allowed only one pass. PC_Eyewitness (PCE) is a computerized system used to construct and administer simultaneous or sequential lineups in both the laboratory and the field. It is currently being used in laboratories investigating eyewitness identification in the United States, Canada, and abroad. A modified version of PCE is also being developed for a local police department. We developed a new module for PCE, the New Jersey module, to examine the effects of a second pass. We found that the sequential advantage was eliminated when the participants were allowed to view the lineup a second time. The New Jersey module, and steps we are taking to improve on the module, are presented here and are being made available to the research and law enforcement communities.