Palmer Sauer Holt JEPA accepted version.pdf (1.43 MB)
Undermining position effects in choices from arrays, with implications for police lineups
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-19, 02:02 authored by Matthew PalmerMatthew Palmer, James SauerJames Sauer, Glenys HoltGlenys Holt
Choices from arrays are often characterized by position effects, such as edge-aversion. We investigated position effects when participants attempted to pick a suspect from an array similar to a police photo lineup. A re-analysis of data from two large-scale field studies showed that choices made under realistic conditions—closely matching eyewitness identification decisions in police investigations—displayed edge-aversion and bias to choose from the top row (Study 1). In a series of experiments (Studies 2a-2c and 3), participants guessing the location of a suspect exhibited edge-aversion regardless of whether the lineup was constructed to maximize the chances of the suspect being picked, to ensure the suspect did not stand out, or randomly. Participants favored top locations only when the lineup was constructed to maximize the chances of the suspect being picked. In Studies 4 and 5, position effects disappeared when (a) response options were presented in an array with no obvious center, edges, or corners, and (b) instructions stated that the suspect was placed randomly. These findings show that position effects are influenced by a combination of task instructions and array shape. Randomizing the location of the suspect and modifying the shape of the lineup array may reduce misidentification.
Publication titleJournal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Department/SchoolSchool of Psychological Sciences
PublisherAmer Psychological Assoc
Place of publicationUnited States
Rights statement© 2017 American Psychological Association This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record. It has not yet been published.