Psychology and Law: An Empirical Perspective

By Neil Brewer; Kipling D. Williams | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
Eyewitness Identification

NEIL BREWER

NATHAN WEBER

CAROLYN SEMMLER

In many criminal investigations police may, at some stage, ask an eyewitness to view either a live or photo-spread lineup to see if a positive identification of a suspect can be made. The witness's response on such an identification test can have a number of different consequences. If the witness makes a positive identification of the police suspect, the likelihood of the suspect being prosecuted will increase. A positive identification is also likely to make the prosecution case more persuasive to a jury, thereby increasing the chances of a guilty verdict. If, however, the witness rejects the lineup, either because he or she is too unsure to make an identification or believes that the offender is not present, the police may revise their theories about the identity of the offender and search for a new suspect. Or they may simply form the view that the witness is not reliable and seek alternative evidence to support their hypothesis about the offender's identity. Either way the witness's behavior at the identification test is likely to exert an important influence on the direction of the police investigations and, indeed, on the outcome of any trial that results.

There are probably two main reasons why the performance of witnesses at identification tests has attracted the interest of researchers. First, the study of eyewitness identification and other eyewitness memory issues provides a real-world context in which to explore, test, and refine theories of the operation of memory processes. The second and probably much more influential reason is the practical import of the now overwhelming body of evidence that demonstrates the fallibility of eyewitnesses when confronted with an identification test. Numerous laboratory and field experiments attest to the often poor performance of eyewitnesses in identification tests—a matter that becomes of particular concern when it is appreciated that, in many cases, the only evidence against a suspect is an identification made by an eyewitness.

-177-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Psychology and Law: An Empirical Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 516

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.