An exploration of visual behaviour in eyewitness identification tests

Heather Flowe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The contribution of internal (eyes, nose and mouth) and external (hair-line, cheek and jaw-line) features across eyewitness identification tests was examined using eye tracking. In Experiment 1, participants studied faces and were tested with lineups, either simultaneous (test faces presented in an array) or sequential (test faces presented one at a time). In Experiment 2, the recognition of previously studied faces was tested in a showup (a suspect face alone was presented). Results indicated that foils were analysed for a shorter period of time in the simultaneous compared to the sequential condition, whereas a positively identified face was analysed for a comparable period of time across lineup procedures. In simultaneous lineups and showups, a greater proportion of time was spent analysing internal features of the test faces compared to sequential lineups. Different decision processes across eyewitness identification tests are inferred based on the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-254
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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