Advertisement

Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 333–339 | Cite as

Mock-juror belief of accurate and inaccurate eyewitnesses

A replication and extension
  • R. C. L. Lindsay
  • Gary L. Wells
  • Fergus J. O'Connor
Research Note

Abstract

In response to lawyers' critiques of earlier staged-crime, mock-jury studies, 16 eyewitnesses to a staged crime were videotaped while being questioned by lawyers in a real courthouse. Accurate and inaccurate eyewitnesses were questioned by experienced or inexperienced lawyers for the prosecution and defense. Subsequently, 178 University of Alberta undergraduates served as mock-jurors and attempted to detect the accuracy of the witnesses based on their taped testimony. As in the previous research, the overall rate of belief was quite high (69%), and the subjects believed the testimony of accurate and inaccurate eyewitnesses at about the same rate (68% vs. 70%, respectively). Lawyers' experience failed to influence verdict. Confidence of the eyewitness was significantly related to belief of their testimony. The data replicate the previous findings and demonstrate that lack of expertise of the questioners does not account for the failure to detect eyewitness accuracy in this paradigm.

Keywords

Social Psychology Eyewitness Accuracy Inaccurate Eyewitness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Cutler, B., & Penrod, S. (1988). Improving the reliability of eyewitness identification: Lineup construction and presentation.Journal of Applied Psychology, 73, 281–290.Google Scholar
  2. Cutler, B., Penrod, S., & Stuve, T. (in press). Jury decision making in eyewitness identification cases.Law and Human Behavior.Google Scholar
  3. Deffenbacher, K. (1980). Eyewitness accuracy and confidence: Can we infer anything about their relationship?Law and Human Behavior, 4, 243–260.Google Scholar
  4. Lindsay, R., Wallbridge, H., & Drennan, D. (1987). Do the clothes make the man? An exploration of the effect of lineup attire on eyewitness identification accuracy.Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 19, 464–478.Google Scholar
  5. Lindsay, R., & Wells, G. (1980). What price justice? Exploring the relationship of lineup fairness to identification accuracy.Law and Human Behavior, 4, 303–314.Google Scholar
  6. Lindsay, R., & Wells, G. (1985). Improving eyewitness identification from lineups: Simultaneous versus sequential lineup presentation.Journal of Applied Psychology, 70, 556–564.Google Scholar
  7. Lindsay, R., Wells, G., & Rumpel, C. (1981). Can people detect eyewitness identification accuracy within and across situations?Journal of Applied Psychology, 66, 79–89.Google Scholar
  8. Loftus, E. (1983). Silence is not golden.American Psychologist, 38, 564–572.Google Scholar
  9. Malpass, R., & Devine, P. (1981). Eyewitness identification: Lineup instructions and the absence of the offender.Journal of Applied Psychology, 66, 482–489.Google Scholar
  10. McCloskey, M., & Egeth, H. (1983). Eyewitness identification: What can a psychologist tell a jury?American Psychologist, 38, 550–563.Google Scholar
  11. Wells, G. (1984a). The psychology of lineup identifications.Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 14, 89–103.Google Scholar
  12. Wells, G. (1984b). Do the eyes have it? More on expert eyewitness testimony.American Psychologist, 39, 1064–1065.Google Scholar
  13. Wells, G. (1986). Expert psychological testimony: Empirical and conceptual analyses of effects.Law and Human Behavior, 10, 83–96.Google Scholar
  14. Wells, G., Ferguson, T., & Lindsay, R. (1981). The tractability of eyewitness confidence and its implications for triers of facts.Journal of Applied Psychology, 66, 688–696.Google Scholar
  15. Wells, G., & Leippe, M. (1981). How do triers of fact infer the accuracy of eyewitness identification? Memory for peripheral detail can be misleading.Journal of Applied Psychology, 66, 682–687.Google Scholar
  16. Wells, G., Lindsay, R., & Ferguson, T. (1979). Accuracy, confidence, and juror perceptions in eyewitness identification.Journal of Applied Psychology, 65, 440–448.Google Scholar
  17. Wells, G., Lindsay, R., & Tousignant, J. (1980). Effects of expert psychological advice on human performance in judging the validity of eyewitness testimony.Law and Human Behavior, 4, 275–286.Google Scholar
  18. Wells, G., & Murray, D. (1984). Eyewitness confidence. In G. Wells and E. Loftus (Eds.),Eyewitness testimony: Psychological perspectives (pp. 155–170). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Winer, B. (1973).Statistical principles in experimental design. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. C. L. Lindsay
    • 1
  • Gary L. Wells
    • 2
  • Fergus J. O'Connor
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQueen's UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.University of Alberta
  3. 3.Ecclestone & KaiserO'ConnorKingston

Personalised recommendations