Journal of Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 36 Issue 6 (June 2006), Pages 1321-1594

Biased Lineup Instructions: Examining the Effect of Pressure on Children's and Adults' Eyewitness Identification Accuracy (pages 1381-1394)

Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of pressure on lineup decisions across child and adult eyewitnesses. In both experiments, participants were exposed to a target via videotape and then presented with a 6‐person, target‐absent lineup. Pressure was manipulated via lineup instructions (neutral vs. biased instructions). With neutral lineup instructions, children had a higher false‐positive rate than did adults. With biased lineup instructions, children's patterns of false‐positive responding paralleled that of adults; that is, an increase in false positives occurred. These results suggest that social pressure may not be the only factor driving children's higher false‐positive responding, compared to adults. Potential factors that may be affecting children's lineup decision processes are discussed.

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