A Repeated Forced-Choice Lineup Procedure: Examining the Impact on Child and Adult Eyewitnesses

Bruer, Kaila Chantal
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Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Regina

In two experiments and one follow-up analysis, I examined the impact of using a repeated force-choice (RFC) lineup procedure with child and adult eyewitnesses. The RFC procedure divides the identification task into a series of exhaustive binary comparisons (i.e., round-robin design) and, in doing so, provides information about (a) who the witness believes is the suspect (if any) and, (b) additional information about how each face in the lineup matches the witness’ memory of a target, relative to every other face. Results from Experiment 1 indicate that younger children (6-to-8-year-olds) struggled with the RFC procedure, while older children (9-to-11-year-olds) performed at least as well with the RFC procedure as with a simultaneous procedure. In Experiment 2, the comparable performance in the simultaneous and RFC procedures was replicated with adult eyewitnesses. Follow-up analyses examined the additional information provided by the RFC in Experiments 1 and 2 and found evidence that witnesses’ patterns of responding during the RFC procedure can be used to estimate selection bias or memory strength associated with an individual witness’ lineup decision.

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Experimental and Applied Psychology, University of Regina. x, 153 p.