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Law Hum Behav. 2001 Apr;25(2):155-65.

A preidentification questioning effect: serendipitously increasing correct rejections.

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  • 1Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


A study designed to test the effects of delay between crime and lineup on identification accuracy produced an unusually high rate of correct rejection from target-absent, simultaneous lineups (J. E. Dysart, 1999). Examining the procedures indicated that one question included in a preidentification questionnaire differed from those used previously. The question asked witnesses if they believed they would be able to correctly reject a target-absent lineup. An experiment (N = 138) was conducted to explore the impact of preidentification questions, including this new question, on witness accuracy. Results revealed that asking witnesses these questions, prior to viewing the lineup, significantly increased correct rejections of target-absent simultaneous lineups.

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