Selection of lineup foils in operational contexts



It has been argued (Luus & Wells, 1991) that matching lineup foils to the description of the culprit, rather than the appearance of the suspect, brings benefits to witness performance on identification tasks, in particular by increasing the rate of correct identifications of the culprit. Recently, live identification procedures in the United Kingdom have been replaced by use of video. The reported research investigated whether use of description matching would improve lineup performance when implemented using this new video based system in an ecologically valid experiment. The effect of using moving rather than still video clips was also investigated. Participants witnessed a live staged incident, and attempted to identify the culprit later from police video lineups. Neither use of a description-matching strategy to select foils nor use of moving images produced a reliable improvement in performance for culprit present (CP) or culprit absent (CA) lineups. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.