Eyewitness Memory

Black and white illustration of a suspect lineup

Eyewitness Confidence Can Predict Accuracy of Identifications, Researchers Find

A new report challenges the perception that eyewitness memory is inherently fallible, finding that eyewitness confidence can indicate the accuracy of identifications made under “pristine” conditions. More

  • Activities in this unit reveal how eyewitness testimony is subject to unconscious memory distortions and biases even among the most confident of witnesses. More

    Myth: Eyewitness Testimony is the Best Kind of Evidence

    Activities in this unit reveal how eyewitness testimony is subject to unconscious memory distortions and biases even among the most confident of witnesses. More

  • Researchers find that young children aren’t always vulnerable to suggestive false memories and that adults go along with suggestions when they match up with their associations. More

    Children Make Better Eyewitnesses than Adults in Certain Circumstances

    Researchers find that young children aren’t always vulnerable to suggestive false memories and that adults go along with suggestions when they match up with their associations. More

  • Police lineups in which distinctive individual marks or features are not altered can impair witnesses’ ability to distinguish between innocent and guilty suspects. More

    Abstract network of people

    Witnesses Confuse Innocent and Guilty Suspects with ‘Unfair’ Lineups

    Police lineups in which distinctive individual marks or features are not altered can impair witnesses’ ability to distinguish between innocent and guilty suspects. More

  • The same experimental standards that apply to scientific research could also be applied to police lineups to improve the accuracy of eyewitness identifications, says APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow Gary L. Wells More

    Shallow depth of field image taken of yellow law enforcement line with police car and lights in the background.

    Injecting Science Into Police Lineups

    The same experimental standards that apply to scientific research could also be applied to police lineups to improve the accuracy of eyewitness identifications, says APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow Gary L. Wells More

  • Our capacity for remembering items that a ren’t relevant to the task at hand -- such as memory for faces in a crowd -- may be greater than previously thought. More

    Diverse crowd of people

    More Than Just Faces in a Crowd

    Our capacity for remembering items that a ren’t relevant to the task at hand -- such as memory for faces in a crowd -- may be greater than previously thought. More

  • Brain activity can be used to tell whether someone recognizes details they encountered in normal, daily life, which may have implications for criminal investigations and use in courtrooms. More

    EEG monitoring of electrical activity of the brain

    Brain Wave May Be Used to Detect What People Have Seen, Recognize

    Brain activity can be used to tell whether someone recognizes details they encountered in normal, daily life, which may have implications for criminal investigations and use in courtrooms. More

  • A research replication initiative confirms earlier findings, showing that asking witnesses to provide a written description of a suspect can impair their ability to select that suspect from a lineup — the so-called “verbal overshadowing” effect. More

    Cropped shot of a man and woman completing paperwork together at a desk

    New Insights Into Eyewitness Memory From Groundbreaking Replication Initiative

    A research replication initiative confirms earlier findings, showing that asking witnesses to provide a written description of a suspect can impair their ability to select that suspect from a lineup — the so-called “verbal overshadowing” effect. More

  • APS Past President Elizabeth Loftus speaks about her research -- investigating false memory, the reliability of eyewitness reports, and memories “recovered” through therapy -- and its impact on how we think about eyewitness testimony. More

    Inside the Psychologist’s Studio: Elizabeth Loftus

    APS Past President Elizabeth Loftus speaks about her research -- investigating false memory, the reliability of eyewitness reports, and memories “recovered” through therapy -- and its impact on how we think about eyewitness testimony. More

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