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Eyewitness Identification: Field Studies

A substantial base of laboratory research is now available to aid our understanding of eyewitness identification processes and to support recommendations for lineup reform. However, there are also a limited number of peer-reviewed, published studies that measure eyewitness responses in real police cases. Although few, the studies include large-scale investigations involving a sizable combined sample of eyewitnesses (4000+). The traditional simultaneous lineup format in these studies produces a modal suspect identification (SI) rate of around 40% to 50% and a filler selection rate of approximately 20%.

Field studies bring unique strengths and weaknesses to research efforts, capturing eyewitness decisions in the most forensically relevant settings but under circumstances that lack the control and precision of the lab. Existing field studies—archival summaries of police reports and descriptive ...

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