Testing Applied Lineup Theory

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Mansour, Jamal Khalil
eyewitness psychology , eyewitness memory , lineups , quality of memory , decision making , face recognition , applied lineup theory
The field of eyewitness memory has long been concerned with identifications but functioned in the absence of an explanatory theory. Recently Charman and Wells (2007) developed applied lineup theory to address this deficiency. They argue that quality of memory and the decision process interact to determine lineup decision accuracy. In a series of experiments I tested whether their theoretical assumptions hold for face recognition tasks and tested the theory using simple manipulations with lineups. Experiments 1 through 7 utilized a face recognition paradigm. In Experiments 1 through 5, the relationship between quality of memory and face recognition accuracy was explored as a function of frequency of viewing, duration of viewing, and depth of processing. The results indicated that, as expected, increased frequency of viewing and deeper processing of faces at encoding led to better recognition memory. Unexpectedly, increasing the duration of viewing did not increase recognition memory. In the remaining experiments (Experiments 6 to 9) I manipulated the decision process by manipulating the match between a face image shown at encoding and retrieval and how quickly participants were able to respond. The results of Experiments 6 and 7 only weakly supported applied lineup theory. In Experiments 8 and 9 I used a lineup paradigm and again found little support for applied lineup theory. Notably, the manipulations of decision process were relatively unsuccessful in Experiments 6 to 9. The stimulus manipulations used may not have been sufficient to produce differences in the decision process or applied lineup theory may not account for lineup decisions. Suggestions for future research on lineup decision processes to clarify whether applied lineup theory can account for lineup decisions are made.
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