Analysis of Identification Accuracy: Determining the Accuracy of Eyewitness Identifications Using Statement Analysis


  • Jennifer L. Short
  • J. Thomas Dalby


Statement analysis has been used for years to determine the accuracy of statements. The Judgement of Memory Characteristics Questionnaire was revised in the current study to assess the accuracy of eyewitness identifications. Participants watched a video of a theft then identified the perpetrator from a line-up. Two statements were obtained: descriptions of the perpetrator and post-identification statements. The characteristics present in descriptions did not predict identification accuracy. However, analysis of the characteristics present in post-identification statements resulted in two predictive factors: Quality of Description and Amount of Detail. Statement analysis of post-identification statements resulted in a 70% correct classification rate of identifications. Further development of this measure and subsequent application of it to forensic investigations could help minimize the detrimental effects of inaccurate identifications.