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### **Understanding and Improving Effectiveness of Eyewitness Identification Procedures** ### Project Overview Eyewitnesses provide important to police in thousands of criminal cases, when they identify suspects in lineups. However, much research has shown that eyewitnesses can be mistaken when they are asked to try to identify culprits in lineups: they often identify “fillers” who are not even suspects, or still worse, they identify innocent people, many hundreds of whom have been tragically wrongly convicted. Unfortunately, while scientists have researched eyewitness memory for decades and have uncovered a range of reasons why eyewitnesses can be wrong, the current science offers few practicable solutions for how to improve the accuracy. ### Contents In 2014, an important [National Academy of Sciences Report][1] sounded a clarion call for new types of interdisciplinary scientific research to be done. This project is organized by the four distinct branches of scientific inquiry that will be used to investigate eyewitness identification procedures. We believe that the best way to make serious progress in addressing this scientific and legal problem is using an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on: > [Research Synthesis][2] Learn about existing systematic reviews on eyewitness identification accuracy and confidence, as well as new methods of research synthesis employed by this project to make sense of the large numbers of studies done of eyewitness memory and improve upon previous procedures and reproducibility. - [Overview of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses in Eyewitness Identification][3] - [Scoping Review: Quantitative and Mixed Methods Studies of Eyewitness Identification Accuracy][4] - [Systematic Reviews of Selected Factors Influencing Eyewitness Identification][5] > [Psychology][6] Explore the methods, materials, analysis plans, and pre-registrations for studies investigating factors that impact our memory of faces and affect accuracy of eyewitness identifications. > [Statistics][7] Read about the existing statistical methods for investigating law enforcement procedures and new statistical models developed for designing experiments and analyzing the data from them. > [Law][8] Explore the methods, materials, analysis plans, and pre-registrations for studies investigating eyewitness confidence and how to best present eyewitness evidence in the courtroom. ### Project Outcomes This comprehensive four-part program of research will lead to detailed recommendations for police professionals, lawyers, and judges, as well as for the design and statistical analysis and reporting of eyewitness identification studies, and hence a more solid foundation for eyewitness identification evidence. With the assistance of law enforcement partners and senior advisers including judges, lawyers, policymakers, and field experts, the outcome of this proposed interdisciplinary research collaboration will be practical recommendations for police professionals, attorneys, and judges, including improved lineup practices and changes in jury instructions, and the use of both expert and eyewitness testimony in the courtroom, leading to 1. Recommendations to law enforcement personnel of the optimal settings of those variables under their control, as well as those circumstances (defined by conditions not under their control) where eyewitness identification can be expected to perform well (versus those where great uncertainty can arise) 2. Recommendations for legal uses of eyewitness identification ### Collaborators [Chad Dodson][9], Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia<br> [Brandon Garrett][10], Justice Thurgood Marshall Professor of Law, University of Virginia<br> [Karen Kafadar][11], Commonwealth Professor & Chair of Statistics, University of Virginia<br> [Joanne Yaffe][12], Professor of Social Work and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, University of Utah ### Questions? Please direct all questions to the appropriate member of the research team: Systematic Reviews: joanne dot yaffe at utah dot edu<br> Psychology: cd8c at virginia dot edu<br> Statistics: kk3ab at virginia dot edu<br> Law: bgarrett at virginia dot edu<br> [1]: [2]: [3]: [4]: [5]: [6]: [7]: [8]: [9]: [10]: [11]: [12]:
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