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Eyewitness Memory: A Field Study of Viewing Angle, Pose, and Eyewitness Age

Description: The present study investigated how different views of a target person are related to description accuracy and lineup identification performance. In a quasi-experimental design, participants viewed a target that was seen either at eye-level or from an overhead viewing angle, and in either a front or side pose. Participants described the target and were asked to view a lineup a few days later to attempt an identification. Viewing conditions were related to several aspects of participants’ reports, including estimates of target distance and exposure time. Nearly all participants—including those who said they did not have a clear view of the target’s face—predicted that they could recognize a photo of the target. Among participants who viewed a lineup several days later, accuracy was much lower than they had predicted, but performance was only weakly related to viewing angle or pose. Age differences in event description accuracy and lineup identification performance were small. Overall, information provided by older and younger adults was similar in its accuracy.

Suggested Citation:
Thompson, W.B., (2019). Eyewitness Memory: A Field Study of Viewing Angle, Pose, and Eyewitness Age [Electronic Version]. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 14(2), 102-119.

Keywords: eyewitness memory, lineup, viewpoint, pose, adult age differences

Date: Jan 23, 2019 | File Size: 488.38 Kb | Downloads: 28

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