- Scientific evaluation of lineup fairness. For nearly three decades, mock witness identifications have been used to provide a quantitative measure of the fairness of lineups. Our current work extends our knowledge of techniques for construction and evaluation of lineups and photospreads and applications with a range of lineup presentation methods.
- Presentation mode and witness task in eyewitness
identification. Sequential presentation is
sometimes claimed to be superior to simultaneous
presentation. However, many variations in
presentation mode and task structure are possible
for both simultaneous and sequential lineups that
have hardly been studied. Current work in the
laboratory examines these variations.
- Instructions / admonitions given to witnesses are known to be important in reducing false identifications, however the relative strengths of various instructions are not know, nor are their interactions. Present work in the lab studies these questions.
Perception and recognition of faces.
- Reliability of face recognition. In a courtroom
situation, eyewitnesses often claim that they are
particularly good at recognizing faces, with the
intention of assuring the jurors that the
identification they make is a reliable one. Our
research investigates whether face recognition is
indeed a trait that is consistent over time and
recognition events, and whether individuals can
make accurate judgments about their own personal
level of recognition ability.
- Worldwide face collection. A consortium of
researchers on face recognition and eyewitness
identification is working towards establishing a
large database of faces that represent diverse
geographical and cultural areas. Our laboratory
is one of the founding members of the consortium.
- Cross-Race Face Recognition. Research has
reliably demonstrated a deficit in the
recognition of other-race faces, known as the "cross-race effect". Our laboratory is
engaged in a number of studies investigating
factors that may influence the cross-race effect,
and which may help us to understand the cognitive
basis of this interesting phenomenon. Our work on
ambiguous race faces is included in this line of
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