Eyewitness identifications play a key role in the justice system, but eyewitnesses can make errors, often with profound consequences. We used findings from basic science and innova- tive technologies to develop and test whether a novel interactive lineup procedure, wherein witnesses can rotate and dynamically view the lineup faces from different angles, improves witness discrimination accuracy compared with a widely used procedure in laboratories and police forces around the world—the static frontal-pose photo lineup. No novel procedure has previously been shown to improve witness discrimination accuracy. In Experiment 1, participants (N = 220) identified culprits from sequentially presented interactive lineups or static frontal-pose photo lineups. In Experiment 2, participants (N = 8,507) identified culprits from interactive lineups that were either presented sequentially, simultaneously wherein the faces could be moved independently, or simultaneously wherein the faces moved jointly into the same angle. Sequential interactive lineups enhanced witness discrimination accuracy compared with static photo lineups, and simultaneous interactive lineups enhanced witness discrimination accuracy compared with sequential interactive lineups. These finding were true both when participants viewed suspects who were of the same or different ethnicity/ race as themselves. Our findings exemplify how basic science can be used to address the im- portant applied policy issue on how best to conduct a police lineup and reduce eyewitness errors.
Figure 2: “ROC plots for Interactive and Static Lineups”
Colloff, M. F., Flowe, H. D., Smith, H. J., Seale-Carlisle, T. M., Meissner, C. A., Rockey, J. C., Pande, B., Kujur, P., Parveen, N., Chandel, P., Singh, M. M., Pradhan, & S., Parganiha, A. (2022). Active exploration of faces in police lineups increases discrimination accuracy for own- and other- race faces. American Psychologist, 7(2):196-220. https:// 10.1037/amp0000832. Epub 2021 Nov 18. PMID: 34793182.