Pre-Post Test Questions

Stress: Very high levels of stress impair the accuracy of eyewitness testimony

Weapon Focus: The presence of a weapon impairs an eyewitness’s ability to accurately identify the perpetrator’s face. 

Show Ups: The use of a one-person show-up instead of a full lineup increases the risk of misidentification.

Lineup Fairness: The more members of a lineup resemble the suspect, the higher is the likelihood that identification of the suspect is accurate.

Lineup Instructions: Police instructions can affect an eyewitness’s willingness to make an identification.

Exposure Time: The less time an eyewitness has to observe an event, the less well he or she will remember it.

Forgetting Curve: The rate of memory loss for an event is greatest right after the event and then levels off over time. 

Accuracy and Confidence: An eyewitness’s confidence is not a good predictor of his or her identification accuracy.

Post Event Information: Eyewitness testimony about an event often reflects not only what they actually saw but also information they obtained later on.

Color Perception: Judgements of colour made under monochromatic light (e.g. an orange street light) are highly unreliable.

Wording of Questions: An eyewitness’s testimony about an event can be affected by how the questions put to that witness are worded.

Unconscious Transference: Eyewitnesses sometimes identify as a culprit someone they have seen in another situation or context.

Trained Observers: Police officers and other trained observers are no more accurate as eyewitnesses than is the average person.

Hypnotic Accuracy: Hypnosis increases the accuracy of an eyewitness’s reported memory.

Hypnotic Suggestibility: Hypnosis increases suggestibility to leading and mislead- ing questions.

Attitudes and Expectations: An eyewitness’s perception and memory for an event may be affected by his or her attitudes and expectations.

Event Violence: Eyewitnesses have more difficulty remembering violent than non- violent events.

Cross-Race Bias: Eyewitnesses are more accurate when identifying members of their own race than members of other races.

Confidence Malleability: An eyewitness’s confidence can be influenced by factors that are unrelated to identification accuracy.

Alcoholic Intoxication: Alcoholic intoxication impairs an eyewitness’s later ability to recall persons and events.

Mug Shot-Induced Bias: Exposure to mug shots of a suspect increases the likelihood that the witness will later choose that suspect in a lineup.

Long Term Repression: Traumatic experiences can be repressed for many years and then recovered.

False Childhood Memories: Memories people recover from their own childhood are often false or distorted in some way.

Discriminability: 24. It is possible to reliably differentiate between true and false memories.

Child Witness Accuracy: Young children are less accurate as witnesses than are adults.

Child Suggestibility: Young children are more vulnerable than adults to interviewer suggestion, peer pressures and other social influences.

Description Matching: The more members of a lineup resemble a witness’s description of the culprit, the more accurate an identification of the suspect is likely to be.

Presentation Format: Witnesses are more likely to misidentify someone by making a relative judgement when presented with a simultaneous (as opposed to sequential) lineup. A simultaneous lineup is one where all members in the lineup are presented to the witness at the same time, and the witness is asked whether the culprit/suspect is in the lineup. In a sequential lineup, the witness is presented each member in the lineup one at a time and the witness is asked whether that person is the culprit/suspect.

Elderly Witness: Elderly eyewitnesses are less accurate than are younger adults. Identification Speed: 30. The more quickly a witness makes an identification upon seeing the lineup, the more accurate he or she is likely to be.