Sequential lineup presentation promotes less-biased criterion setting but does not improve discriminability.

Research paper by Matthew A MA Palmer, Neil N Brewer

Indexed on: 07 Jun '12Published on: 07 Jun '12Published in: Law and Human Behavior


When compared with simultaneous lineup presentation, sequential presentation has been shown to reduce false identifications to a greater extent than it reduces correct identifications. However, there has been much debate about whether this difference in identification performance represents improved discriminability or more conservative responding. In this research, data from 22 experiments that compared sequential and simultaneous lineups were analyzed using a compound signal-detection model, which is specifically designed to describe decision-making performance on tasks such as eyewitness identification tests. Sequential (cf. simultaneous) presentation did not influence discriminability, but produced a conservative shift in response bias that resulted in less-biased choosing for sequential than simultaneous lineups. These results inform understanding of the effects of lineup presentation mode on eyewitness identification decisions.