Previous research indicates that the age of the witness making an identification affects accuracy. Few studies, however, have examined the effect of the culprit's age on identification accuracy. The present study examined accuracy rates of adult witnesses for a child or adult target. Correct identification rates were higher for the child compared to the adult target, but correct rejection rates were higher for the adult compared to the child target. With regard to choosing behaviour, witnesses were more likely to select a line-up member than reject the line-up when presented with the child compared to the adult target. These results suggest that differences in accuracy between witnesses may be inherent to the age of the target being identified rather than the witness' memory for the target.

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Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
Department of Psychology

Pozzulo, J, & Dempsey, J. (Julie). (2009). Could Target Age Explain Identification Accuracy Differences Between Child and Adult Eyewitnesses?. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 16, S137–S144. doi:10.1080/13218710802620414