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Perception of lineup suggestiveness as a function of identification outcome

Conference paper
Authors Karl Ask
Pär-Anders Granhag
Published in 16th Conference of the European Association of Psychology & Law, Liverpool
Publication year 2006
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords Criminal investigation, Hindsight bias, Police, Lineup, Suggestiveness
Subject categories Psychology

Abstract

Research on the hindsight bias has shown that knowledge of an event outcome makes the observed outcome appear more inevitable than it does in the absence of outcome knowledge. It was predicted that perceptions of the suggestiveness of a lineup would be similarly influenced by knowledge of a witness’ identification decision, with a positive identification of the suspect increasing, and a negative non-identification decreasing, perceived suggestiveness. The data of Experiment 1 from undergraduate students showed the predicted influence of positive outcome, whereas negative outcome had no influence on participants’ perception of suggestiveness. In contrast, Experiment 2, conducted with police trainees and the lineup embedded in a larger case material, partially supported the predicted influence of negative, but not positive, outcome. The discrepant findings are discussed in terms of the cognitive mechanisms underlying the hindsight bias, and the implications of the bias in real-life judgments of lineup suggestiveness are treated.

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