The Psychology of Eyewitness Identification: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Psychology of Eyewitness Identification

1st Edition

By James Michael Lampinen, Jeffrey S. Neuschatz, Andrew D. Cling

Psychology Press

346 pages | 46 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2012-02-15
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This volume provides a tutorial review and evaluation of scientific research on the accuracy and reliability of eyewitness identification. The book starts with the perspective that there are a variety of conceptual and empirical problems with eyewitness identification as a form of forensic evidence, just as there are a variety of problems with other forms of forensic evidence. There is then an examination of the important results in the study of eyewitness memory and the implications of this research for psychological theory and for social and legal policy. The volume takes the perspective that research on eyewitness identification can be seen as the paradigmatic example of how psychological science can be successfully applied to real-world problems.


"The authors have provided an exhaustive overview of the issues involved in eyewitness identification [including] previous and more recent research in the field. … The‘Essays in Cognitive Psychology’ series always produce high quality books and ‘The Psychology of Eyewitness Identification’ continues that tradition. It is suitable for students and researchers alike as it is an accessible text that is very enjoyable to read and also very informative — two great qualities — and a book which is well worth reading for individuals interested in this kind of area." - Rhian Worth, Bangor University, UK, in Europe’s Journal of Psychology

"Despite the tragedies that have arisen from an overreliance on eyewitness evidence, the message of The Psychology of Eyewitness Identification is a positive one. Through consideration of the interplay of theory and research, the authors reveal the variables and practices that influence accuracy, and point to steps that can be taken to benefit the criminal justice system. Students of memory in the classroom or the courtroom will find The Psychology of Eyewitness Identification an essential guide." - Scott D. Gronlund, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, USA

"The Psychology of Eyewitness Identification is a comprehensive and clear treatment of eyewitness identification science and its many productive connections to police practice and legal policy. The authors bring a careful, well-reasoned perspective, rigorous detail, and fresh examples that enliven their exploration of this significant research effort. The first chapter cleverly and compellingly draws the reader to the problem of eyewitness error. From that point, the book addresses the complexities of experimental and field research in a readable and engaging manner, with emphasis on the role of psychological research in helping the criminal justice system work more effectively." - Nancy K. Steblay, Professor of Psychology, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN

"In conception and execution, this book does something that is both original and needed. Instead of taking a single route into the topic, it mixes complementary perspectives – from research on perception, memory, social reasoning, and philosophy to arrangements in a police lineup and the confidence of jurors in a trial. It is immensely helpful and illuminating." -George Graham, Professor of Philosophy and Neuroscience, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

Table of Contents

1. 27 Years. 2. Theoretical Approaches to Eyewitness Identification. 3. Estimator Variables. 4. System Variables. 5. Indicia of Reliability. 6. Field Studies of Eyewitness Identification. 7. Expert Testimony. 8. Conclusions and Thoughts. 9. Philosophical Afterword: Memory and Reasonable Belief.

About the Series

Essays in Cognitive Psychology

Essays in Cognitive Psychology is designed to meet the need for rapid publication of brief volumes in cognitive psychology.

Primary topics include perception, movement and action, attention, memory, mental representation, language and problem solving.

Furthermore, the series seeks to define cognitive psychology in its broadest sense, encompassing all topics either informed by, or informing, the study of mental processes. As such, it covers a wide range of subjects including computational approaches to cognition, cognitive neuroscience, social cognition, and cognitive development, as well as areas more traditionally defined as cognitive psychology.

Each volume in the series makes a conceptual contribution to the topic by reviewing and synthesizing the existing research literature, by advancing theory in the area, or by some combination of these missions.

The principal aim is that authors provide an overview of their own highly successful research program in an area.

Volumes also include an assessment of current knowledge and identification of possible future trends in research.

Each book is a self-contained unit supplying the advanced reader with a well-structured review of the work described and evaluated.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology