We examined how encoding view influences the information that is stored in and retrieved from memory during an eyewitness identification task. Participants watched a mock crime and we varied the angle from which they viewed the perpetrator. In Experiment 1, participants (N = 2904) were tested with a static photo lineup; the viewing angle of the lineup members was the same or different from the perpetrator at encoding. In Experiment 2, participants (N = 1430) were tested with a novel interactive lineup in which they could rotate the lineup faces into any angle. In both experiments, discrimination accuracy was greater when the viewing angle at encoding and test matched. Participants reinstated the angle of the interactive faces to match their encoding angle. Our results highlight the importance of encoding specificity for eyewitness identification, and show that people actively seek out information in the testing environment that matches the study environment to aid memory retrieval.

Figure 12: Unemployment rate, vacancy rate, and efficient unemployment rate in the United States, 1930–2022


Colloff, M.F., Seale-Carlisle, T.M., Karoğlu, N. et al. Perpetrator pose reinstatement during a lineup test increases discrimination accuracy. Nature Scientific Reports 11, 13830 (2021).