Improving the evaluation of eyewitness evidence in legal decision‐making: testing an active versus passive teaching aid

Renan Saraiva, Giulia Bertoldo, Ludvig Daae Bjørndal, Cătălina Bunghez, Ingvild Sandø Lofthus, Lucy McGill, Stéphanie Richardson, Marie Stadel

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Abstract

Judges, jurors and other triers of fact often rely upon eyewitness evidence in criminal trials, but eyewitness memory is not always accurate and can sometimes be contaminated. The I-I-Eye is an evidence-based teaching aid designed to improve the evaluation of eyewitness evidence in legal settings. We aimed to further test the I-I-Eye and examine whether adding an active component to this teaching aid improves its effectiveness. Two experiments (N = 324 and N = 322) were conducted using a 2 (case strength: weak vs. strong) by 3 (teaching aid condition: control vs. passive vs. active) between-subjects design. Results of both experiments showed that the I-I-Eye can help jurors recognize strong eyewitness cases, although it was not particularly effective when the evidence was weak. It was also found that the active component did not further improve sensitivity. We discuss whether teaching aids such as the I-I-Eye may assist decision-makers in the evaluation of eyewitness evidence, while highlighting some of its main limitations found in our results.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Early online date28 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 28 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • eyewitness memory
  • eyewitness testimony
  • I-I-Eye
  • jury decision-making
  • teaching aids

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