Eyewitnesses: A comparison of live, video, and photo line-ups

  • José H. Kerstholt
  • Erwin R. Koster
  • Adri G. van Amelsvoort


An experiment was conducted in which the effectiveness of three line-up methods (live, video, and photographs) was compared. Participants witnessed a staged event and were subsequently required, by one of the three methods, to identify the target. Both target-present and target-absent line-ups were used. The results showed that all methods led to an equal number of correct identifications (hits). In the target-absent line-ups, participants more often incorrectly identified a person in the video and photographs condition than in the live condition. Presenting photographs simultaneously or sequentially did not affect the number of correct judgments. Dynamic video images, showing locomotion and facial expression, had a marginal significant effect on the number of correct judgments as compared with the static video images. Practical implications are discussed.


False Alarm Facial Expression Criminal Psychology Correct Judgment Eyewitness Identification 


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Copyright information

© Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • José H. Kerstholt
    • 1
  • Erwin R. Koster
    • 1
  • Adri G. van Amelsvoort
    • 2
  1. 1.TNO Human Factors Research InstituteSoesterbergThe Netherlands
  2. 2.LSOP Police Education and Knowledge CentreApeldoornThe Netherlands

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