Juror Decision Making When a Witness Makes Multiple Identification Decisions


  • This research was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to the first author.

Joanna D. Pozzulo, Department of Psychology, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6. E-mail: joanna_pozzulo@carleton.ca


Mock jurors (N = 224) read a trial summary varying the consistency of the eyewitness's initial lineup identification (ID) decision and confidence. In all conditions, a second positive lineup ID of the suspect/defendant was made. Jurors perceived the witness's description of the criminal, IDs, and testimony overall as more reliable when the witness initially made a positive ID of the suspect who also was the defendant vs. a positive ID of a different suspect or a non-ID. Ratings were also higher when the witness initially made a foil vs. non-ID. Additionally, the witness's first lineup ID was perceived as more reliable when made with higher vs. lower confidence. Verdicts did not vary as a function of ID consistency.