Journal of Penal Law and Criminology
Partial Memory: Another Reason for using Large Lineups?Avraham Levi
Introduction: The 48-person lineup has been found to decrease substantially mistaken identifications, with little cost to correct ones. The goal of this experiment was to increase correct identifications.
Purpose: Study 1 attempted to increase identifications in the 48-person lineup by omitting the warning that the target may not be in the lineup. Study 2 aimed at examining potential reasons why the attempt failed.
Method: In study 1 a 48-person lineup was shown, with or without the warning and with the target present or absent. In study 2 target-present lineups were shown, either a six-person or 48-person lineup. All were then asked to count the number of lineup members that they could discount as not being the target.
Results: Study 2 found that after discounting six-person lineups were left with 1 lineup member, in 48-person ones 8.3.no difference in the number of identifications between the two warning conditions. Six-person lineups yielded more identifications.
Conclusions: The results suggest that witnesses in 6-person lineups achieve more identifications by discounting lineup members and guessing from the remaining. Further research is suggested.
Keywords: Eyewitness identification, 48-person lineups, partial memory