Formal (mathematical and computer simulation) models have been developed and applied in a wide range of areas in psychology. The application of formal models can be helpful for clarifying theoretical assumptions, generating precise predictions, and testing the adequacy of theoretical explanations by comparing theory-generated predictions with human-generated data. This entry describes a computational model called the WITNESS model that has been developed for eyewitness identification. The WITNESS model assumes that lineup members are compared with an error-prone memory representation of the perpetrator and that identification decisions are based on a weighted combination of absolute and relative match information.

Eyewitness identification research has a clear and immediate real-world application. Given the converging evidence that mistaken identification is the primary factor contributing to wrongful conviction, it is important ...

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