Sequential Lineups: Shift in Criterion or Decision Strategy?

  • Gronlund S
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Abstract

R. C. L. Lindsay and G. L. Wells (1985) argued that a sequential lineup enhanced discriminability because it elicited use of an absolute decision strategy. E. B. Ebbesen and H. D. Flowe (2002) argued that a sequential lineup led witnesses to adopt a more conservative response criterion, thereby affecting bias, not discriminability. Height was encoded as absolute (e.g., 6 ft [1.83 m] tall) or relative (e.g., taller than). If a sequential lineup elicited an absolute decision strategy, the principle of transfer-appropriate processing predicted that performance should be best when height was encoded absolutely. Conversely, if a simultaneous lineup elicited a relative decision strategy, performance should be best when height was encoded relatively. The predicted interaction was observed, providing direct evidence for the decision strategies explanation of what happens when witnesses view a sequential lineup.

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Authors

  • Scott D. Gronlund

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