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Kerri Pickel

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 47: Memory and Eyewitness Testimony

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Memory and Eyewitness Testimony
Memory and eyewitness testimony

According to the Innocence Project (, created by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, approximately 75 percent of the wrongly convicted people who have been eventually freed from prison through forensic DNA testing were found guilty at trial because of mistaken eyewitness identifications. The results of many studies have demonstrated that witnesses can make errors when they try to describe perpetrators or identify them in lineups. However, jurors tend to trust witnesses' accounts and give them substantial weight when making decisions about defendants' guilt. Studying the variables that affect the accuracy of eyewitness memory is important because the knowledge gained could lead to better techniques for questioning witnesses and more effective evaluations of witnesses' statements.


In the 1970s, Elizabeth Loftus ...

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