AP-LS 2013 abstract


Applying laboratory techniques to a real-life case:
What insight can we provide about the Station Strangler case?

Alicia Nortje, University of Cape Town; Colin Tredoux, University of Cape Town; Kate Kempen, University of Cape Town; Annelies Vredeveldt, University of Cape Town

We applied laboratory techniques to assess the line-up and composite created in the Norman Simons case. In Experiment 1, participants viewed a video clip of the line-up, and had to indicate whether Simons was present. None of the participants chose Simons. In Experiment 2, participants compared randomly-selected faces to the composite made of Simons, and had to indicate which faces were viable physical matches. While Simons was not chosen most frequently, he was chosen above expected frequencies. This research highlights the difficulties of applying these techniques post-hoc, and questions how we can contribute (post-hoc) to real-life cases as eyewitness researchers.

Poster presented at the American Psychology-Law Society conference, Portland, United States.