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Preschoolers' person description and identification accuracy: A comparison of the simultaneous and elimination lineup procedures

Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.appdev.2009.01.004
  • Children
  • Eyewitness
  • Lineup
  • Elimination Lineup
  • Person Description
  • Identification
  • Simultaneous Lineup
  • Recall
  • Recognition


Abstract Preschoolers' (3- to 6-year-olds) person description and identification abilities were examined using the simultaneous and elimination lineup procedures. Participants ( N = 100) were exposed to a 20-minute mask-making session conducted by a female confederate who acted as the mask-making teacher. After a brief delay (20 min), participants were asked to provide descriptions of the teacher through free recall and attempt an identification using one of the lineup procedures. Both target-present and -absent lineups for each procedure were used. Preschoolers' reported an average of 1.57 person descriptors with a 60% accuracy rate. In target-present lineups, identification accuracy did not vary as a function of lineup procedure although there was a trend for a higher correct identification rate with the elimination procedure compared to the simultaneous procedure. In target-absent lineups, the elimination procedure resulted in a significantly higher correct rejection rate compared to the simultaneous procedure. Thus, the elimination lineup procedure has been demonstrated as an effective lineup identification procedure for reducing false positive identifications with preschoolers and possibly increasing correct identifications compared to the more traditional simultaneous procedure.

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