Estimating the reliability of eyewitness identifications from police lineups

John Wixted, Laura Mickes, John Dunn, Steven Clark, William Wells

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In contrast to prior research, recent studies of simulated crimes have reported that (i) eyewitness confidence can be a strong indicator of accuracy and (ii) traditional simultaneous lineups may be diagnostically superior to sequential lineups. The significance of our study is that these issues were investigated using actual eyewitnesses to a crime. Recent laboratory trends were confirmed: Eyewitness confidence was strongly related to accuracy, and simultaneous lineups were, if anything, diagnostically superior to sequential lineups. These results suggest that recent reforms in the legal system, which were based on the results of older research, may need to be reevaluated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304–309
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
Early online date22 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2016

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