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An analysis of multiple choices in MSL lineups, and a comparison with simultaneous and sequential ones

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Simultaneous lineups allow witnesses to compare lineup members, causing excessive mistaken identifications. Levi (1998b) has tested MSL lineups: they are sequential, larger, and allow multiple choices. [The MSL lineup was originally termed a Modified Sequential Lineup (Levi, 1998b). However, there are other modified sequential lineups.] Each factor decreases mistaken identifications. However, witnesses make fewer single choices of culprits. Sometimes witnesses choose suspects more confidently than any foil. This analysis examines such multiple choices in four experiments. They account for half of multiple choices with culprits. Few foils are chosen, and such responses are rare in culprit-absent lineups, no more than single choices. They are therefore identifications too. An experiment comparing simultaneous, sequential, and MSL lineups is also reported. The culprit was identified more in simultaneous lineups than in sequential ones. The simultaneous lineup had more mistaken choices than sequential and MSL lineups, whose results were identical. The simultaneous and sequential lineups were equally diagnostic, while the MSL lineup, four times larger, was more than four times more reliable.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Jerusalem, Israel

Publication date: 01 June 2006

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