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Eyewitness Identification: A Systematic Investigation of Lineup Composition and Fairness

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $344,515)

The proposed experiments will use novel methods for creating lineups of varying levels of fairness to determine the effect on the ability of eyewitnesses to separate guilty and innocent suspects. The proposed project is designed to address two program-specific goals: (a) how system variables (those that affect the accuracy of eyewitness identifications and over which the criminal justice system has, or can have, control) might best be accounted for to reduce the potential for misidentification, and (b) how different types of retrieval cues from the lineup composition during the investigation process influence the ability of eyewitnesses to recall aspects of the crime and make accurate identifications. The research team will manipulate the lineups in terms of their overall composition to determine whether those changes effect the confidence levels of eyewitness and their ability to make accurate eyewitness identifications. The primary theoretical goal of the study is to test whether eyewitnesses can better base their lineup decisions on diagnostic features of subjects included in lineups that distinguish guilty and innocent suspects. The applicant will conduct a series of randomized control trials to examine the impact of line-up compositions on eyewitness identification accuracy and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis will be used to estimate empirical discriminability (i.e., correct and false identification rates). "Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law," and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF
Date Created: September 5, 2018