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Exposure Time and Eyewitness Memory

When assessing the potential of an eyewitness, among the first things an investigator has to decide is whether or not the witness had an opportunity to observe what took place for a sufficient time. The decision is likely to be influenced by a witness's assessment of the length and quality of exposure to a perpetrator's face. A longer exposure can increase the ease with which details come to mind at the time of remembering and increase the likelihood that witnesses will correctly recognize a face from an identification lineup and provide a more detailed description. However, an extended exposure could make the witness more confident in their identification ability even when they are wrong. It has been recommended that investigators should not rely too heavily ...

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