Live presentation for eyewitness identification is not superior to photo or video presentation

Eva Rubinova, Ryan Fitzgerald, Stefana Juncu, Eva Ribbers, Lorraine Hope, James Sauer

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Eyewitnesses are widely believed to have a better chance of identifying a perpetrator from a live identification procedure than from photo or video alternatives. To test this live superiority hypothesis, prospective students and their parents (N = 1048) became unsuspecting witnesses to staged events and were randomly assigned to live, photo, or video identification procedures. In Experiment 1, participants viewed a single person at the identification procedure. In Experiment 2, participants viewed a lineup of six people. Across experiments, live identification procedures did not improve eyewitness identification performance. The results show that even under experimental settings designed to eliminate the disadvantages of conducting live lineups in practice, live presentation confers no benefit to eyewitnesses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0
Pages (from-to)0
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Early online date4 Nov 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 4 Nov 2020


  • RCUK
  • ESRC
  • ES/N016602/1
  • eyewitness identification accuracy
  • face
  • body
  • lineup
  • showup


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