Eyewitness Identifications Not Always Shaky: Confidence Predicts Accuracy

April 2017

Not all eyewitness identifications should be discarded, because in certain circumstances they are accurate, according to a new report in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

The key: eyewitnesses have to feel confident and the timing and conditions of when they identify suspects have to be "pristine." But law enforcement agencies don't always use methods that create such pristine conditions, according to School of Social Ecology professors Beth Loftus and Rachel Greenspan, who wrote a commentary for the new report. The report and commentary were mentioned in an article in Forensic Magazine.

"This reality raises the question of what conclusions can be drawn in the many instances when conditions are not pristine," the article says.

Read the article.