University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Identification performance from multiple lineups: Should eyewitnesses who pick fillers be burned?

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 04:02 authored by Smalarz, L, Kornell, N, Vaughn, KE, Matthew PalmerMatthew Palmer
Over the course of a criminal investigation, eyewitnesses are sometimes shown multiple lineups in an attempt to identify the culprit, yet little research has examined eyewitness identification performance from multiple lineups. In two experiments, we examined eyewitness identification accuracy among witnesses who made an inaccurate identification from an initial lineup, correctly rejected an initial lineup, or saw no initial lineup. Consistent with the legal practice of “burning” eyewitnesses who pick fillers, witnesses who made an inaccurate identification from an initial lineup provided subsequent identification evidence that had little diagnostic value and reflected poor memory performance. Critically, these eyewitnesses’ initial-identification confidence did not predict their subsequent identification accuracy, thus precluding the identification of witnesses who could provide diagnostic evidence in a subsequent lineup. Eyewitnesses who correctly rejected the initial lineup performed similarly to eyewitnesses who saw only one lineup, and initial-rejection confidence was associated with subsequent identification accuracy under some conditions.


Australian Research Council


Publication title

Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition








School of Psychological Sciences


Elsevier BV

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2019 Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in psychology