An examination of showups conducted by law enforcement using a field-simulation paradigm
While there is a growing body of research examining the relatively "cold," cognitive decision-making components of showups, few attempts have been made to capture the "hot" affective components of showups that are thought to exacerbate the suggestiveness of the procedure. In 3 simulated-field experiments, we partnered with law enforcement to examine how participants who were led to believe they were involved in an actual criminal investigation (Field-simulation condition) differed from participants who knew they were not part of an actual investigation (Lab-simulation condition). We staged crimes for both conditions, but in the field-simulation condition, law enforcement personnel carried out mock investigations that culminated with a live showup. In Experiment 1 (N = 321), which did not include a culprit-present condition, the field-simulation condition increased innocent suspect identifications. The standard showup admonition decreased innocent suspect identifications, but only for dissimilar innocent suspects. Experiment 2 (N = 196) added a culprit-present condition and found that the field-simulation condition increased innocent suspect and culprit identifications to a similar extent. Experiment 3 (N = 367) replicated the findings of Experiment 2 and examined the impact of admonishing eyewitnesses that if they did not believe the suspect was the culprit, they might have additional opportunities to make an identification. Confidence-accuracy calibration analyses revealed that confidence discriminated accurate from inaccurate identifications in the field, but not in the lab; however, eyewitnesses who made identifications in the field were overconfident and across all levels of confidence were less likely to be correct than eyewitnesses who made identifications in the lab.
|Keywords||Admonition, Ecological, Eyewitness-identification, Showup, Validity|
|Journal||Psychology, Public Policy, and Law|
Eisen, M.L. (Mitchell L.), Smith, A, Olaguez, A.P. (Alma P.), & Skerritt-Perta, A.S. (Amaia S.). (2017). An examination of showups conducted by law enforcement using a field-simulation paradigm. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 23(1), 1–22. doi:10.1037/law0000115