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In cases where a criminal's identity is unknown to an eyewitness and investigators have not yet pinpointed a suspect, witnesses may be asked to search through a large number of photographs for a picture of the criminal. This process is known as a mug shot search because the photographs typically come from a database of photographs of arrested people (either computerized or from a file drawer system). Researchers have examined whether viewing hundreds of photographs in search for a criminal may have detrimental effects on a witness's memory of the criminal or later identification accuracy. Specifically, researchers have focused on three potential effects: interference, unconscious transference, and commitment. Regardless of the effect, one caveat with this body of research to date is that it has ...

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