Descriptive and identification abilities of adolescent and young-adult eyewitnesses were examined. Adolescents (M = 16.41 years; N = 319) and adults (M = 20.03 years, N = 300) viewed a videotape of a staged theft and then were asked to recall and identify the perpetrator from a target-present or target-absent lineup. Participants were shown one of five lineup procedures (i.e., simultaneous, wildcard, elimination, elimination-plus, or elimination with wildcard). Adolescents reported fewer descriptors compared to adult eyewitnesses, although the proportion of accurate descriptors was comparable. When examining identification accuracy, no age differences were found. Overall, participants were more accurate in target-absent compared to target-present lineups. When examining the data by target presence, there was a trade-off between the rate of correct identifications and correct rejections as a function of lineup procedure. The confidence-accuracy relationship and the relation between describing and identifying also are discussed.

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Keywords Adolescent, Eyewitness identification, Eyewitness recall, Lineup procedure, Perpetrator descriptor, Young adult
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Journal Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Sheahan, C.L. (Chelsea L.), Pica, E. (Emily), Pozzulo, J, & Nastasa, C. (Claudia). (2017). Eyewitness recall and identification abilities of adolescent and young-adults. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 53, 86–95. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2017.09.008