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Own-age bias in video lineups: a comparison between children and adults

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The present study investigated whether child (six–eight years of age) and adult witnesses (18–29 years of age) would exhibit an own-age bias when trying to identify targets from video lineups. One hundred and eighty-six participants viewed two filmed events that were identical, except one starred a child target and one a young adult. After a delay of two–three days each witness saw a lineup for the child and adult target. Children exhibited an own-age bias and were better at correctly identifying the own-age target from a target-present (TP) lineup and made more correct rejections for the own-age target-absent (TA) lineup. Adults however, showed a reversed own-age bias for the TP lineups as they made more correct identifications for the child target, but exhibited no bias for the TA lineups. The results suggest that differences in identification accuracy may be due to whether witness age and suspect age overlap.

Keywords: adult witnesses; age; child eyewitness; identification accuracy; recognition

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology,University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK 2: Department of Psychology,Royal Holloway College, University of London, Egham, UK 3: School of Health and Social Sciences,Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2012


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