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Individual differences in eyewitness accuracy across multiple lineups of faces

Russ, Andrew, Sauerland, Melanie, Lee, Charlotte E., Bindemann, Markus (2018) Individual differences in eyewitness accuracy across multiple lineups of faces. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 3 . Article Number 30. ISSN 2365-7464. E-ISSN 2365-7464. (doi:10.1186/s41235-018-0121-8) (KAR id:68935)

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Theories of face recognition in cognitive psychology stipulate that the hallmark of accurate identification is the ability to recognize a person consistently, across different encounters. In this study, we apply this reasoning to eyewitness identification by assessing the recognition of the same target person repeatedly, over six successive lineups. Such repeat identifications are challenging and can be performed only by a proportion of individuals, both when a target exhibits limited and more substantial variability in appearance across lineups (Experiments 1 and 2). The ability to do so correlates with individual differences in identification accuracy on two established tests of unfamiliar face recognition (Experiment 3). This indicates that most observers have limited facial representations of target persons in eyewitness scenarios, which do not allow for robust identification in most individuals, partly due to limitations in their ability to recognize unfamiliar faces. In turn, these findings suggest that consistency of responses across multiple lineups of faces could be applied to assess which individuals are accurate eyewitnesses.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1186/s41235-018-0121-8
Uncontrolled keywords: Eyewitness identification, Face recognition, Multiple lineups, Individual differences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Markus Bindemann
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2018 11:52 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:57 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bindemann, Markus:
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