Eyewitness identifications play an important role in many police investigations and courtroom decisions. Identification decision accuracy is shaped not only by the quality of a witness's memory but also by social-influence variables. Some variables can be categorized as general impairments, whereas others produce biases against a specific suspect. We review some of the key variables in each category and consider postidentification indicators of identification accuracy. Finally, we highlight what we think are some of the major directions for future research. These include addressing some of the significant limitations of past research, examining variables that are not directly related to memory or social influence, and developing some radical new directions for identification tests.
- eyewitness identification
- eyewitness memory