Theoretical & Practical Issues Governing Eyewitness Lineup Identification

Research suggests that erroneous eyewitness identification is the primary factor underlying wrongful conviction in the United States.  Our research has sought to both identify procedures that might alleviate the likelihood of misidentification and to understand the cognitive and social psychological processes that govern identification as a function of both system and estimator variables. 

Research in this arena includes factors that influence lineup construction and evaluations of fairness, lineup similarity and nominal size, instructions provided to witnesses, lineup presentation factors, and computerized administration applications.

Selected Publications on the Theoretical and Practical Issues Governing Eyewitness Lineup and Identification from our Research Team:

Malpass, R. S., Ross, S. J., Meissner, C. A., & Marcon, J. L. (2009). The need for expert
psychological testimony on eyewitness identification. In B. Cutler’s (Ed.), Expert
Testimony on the Psychology of Eyewitness Identification (pp. 3-27). Kluwer Academic /
Plenum Press.

Bornstein, B. H., & Meissner, C. A. (2008). Basic and applied issues in eyewitness research: A Munsterberg centennial retrospective. Applied Cognitive Psychology.

Lane, S. M., & Meissner, C. A. (2008). A “middle road” approach to bridging the basic applied divide in eyewitness identification research. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22, 779-787.

Susa, K. J., & Meissner, C. A. (2008). Accuracy of eyewitness descriptions. In B. Cutler’s
(Ed.), Encyclopedia of Psychology & Law, Vol. 1 (pp. 285-287). Sage publications.

Haw, R. M., Dickinson, J. J., & Meissner, C. A. (2007). The phenomenology of carryover
effects between showup and lineup identification. Memory, 15, 117-127.

Click here to access article reprints.


Investigative Interviewing Research Laboratory
Eyewitness Memory  *  Detecting Deception  *  Interrogations & Confessions

Experimental Stimuli