Predicting Lineup Identifications




Baldassari, Mario J.

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Witnesses sometimes mistakenly identify innocent suspects in lineups from which the real culprit is absent, and those errors can have tragic consequences. Can we estimate in advance a witness’s susceptibility to making false identifications in culprit-absent lineups? Kantner and Lindsay (2012) found that response criterion on a standard test of old/new recognition (of faces or words) correlated with the likelihood of making lineup identifications. Four experiments tested the predictive utility of a two-alternative forced choice facial recognition test that included trials in which neither face had been studied. Through Experiment 3 we observed several weak predictive relationships, including confidence on the facial recognition test with confidence on the lineup test, but not the hypothesized relationship: that the rate of false alarms on the TA face recognition trials would predict false alarm rates on the target-absent lineup trials. Experiment 4 implemented a substantial increase in the number of face recognition trials displaying two non-studied faces (from 4 trials to 30) and the originally hypothesized relationship was found (r=.45). Implications for future research aimed at developing measures with real-world utility are discussed.



Memory, Eyewitness identification