The research investigated the impact of the number of members in a police lineup on eyewitness identification. Participants attempted to identify the perpetrator from either a sequential or simultaneous lineup. The number of members in the lineup differed between 6 members and 12 members, simultaneous or sequential lineup presentation, and target-present or target-absent. In the target-present condition, the research was concerned with correct identifications. Thus, the 6 member simultaneous lineup should yield the most correct identifications. The 12 member simultaneous lineup should yield the second highest. The 6 and 12 member sequential lineup presentation should yield fewer correct identifications because sequential lineups have lower choosing rates. In terms of errors, or false positives, the 12 member simultaneous lineup should yield the largest number of false positives because there are more members from which to choose. The 6 person simultaneous lineup will provide the second highest number of false positives; the 12 member sequential lineup will yield the third. The 6 member sequential lineup should produce the fewest false positives with low choosing rates and less pressure to choose. The hypotheses were all supported. The data collected supported a 6-person lineup over a 12-person lineup. The 6-person simultaneous lineup yielded the most correct identifications. The 6-person sequential lineup yielded the least amount of false positives. The small sample size prompts additional research to see if trends continue and stabilize.
"The Effect of Lineup Size on Eyewitness Accuracy,"
Augsburg Honors Review: Vol. 2
, Article 3.
Available at: https://idun.augsburg.edu/honors_review/vol2/iss1/3