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Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 603–647 | Cite as

Eyewitness Identification Procedures: Recommendations for Lineups and Photospreads

  • Gary L. WellsEmail author
  • Mark Small
  • Steven Penrod
  • Roy S. Malpass
  • Solomon M. Fulero
  • C. A. E. Brimacombe
Article

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that false eyewitness identification is the primary cause of the conviction of innocent people. In 1996, the American Psychology/Law Society and Division 41 of the American Psychological Association appointed a subcommittee to review scientific evidence and make recommendations regarding the best procedures for constructing and conducting lineups and photospreads. Three important themes from the scientific literature relevant to lineup methods were identified and reviewed, namely relative-judgment processes, the lineups-as-experiments analogy, and confidence malleability. Recommendations are made that double-blind lineup testing should be used, that eyewitnesses should be forewarned that the culprit might not be present, that distractors should be selected based on the eyewitness's verbal description of the perpetrator, and that confidence should be assessed and recorded at the time of identification. The potential costs and benefits of these recommendations are discussed.

Keywords

Social Psychology Scientific Literature Scientific Evidence Identification Procedure American Psychological 
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.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary L. Wells
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark Small
    • 2
  • Steven Penrod
    • 3
  • Roy S. Malpass
    • 4
  • Solomon M. Fulero
    • 5
  • C. A. E. Brimacombe
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyIowa State UniversityAmes
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondale
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NebraskaLincoln
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Texas at El PasoEl Paso
  5. 5.Department of PsychologySinclair College and Wright State University School of MedicineDayton
  6. 6.Department of PsychologyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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