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dc.contributor.advisorZajac, Rachel
dc.contributor.authorGentle, Kenzie
dc.identifier.citationGentle, K. (2012). ‘I’m pretty sure that might be him’. Investigating the Effect of a ‘Wildcard’ on Young and Older Adults’ Lineup Performance (Thesis, Master of Science). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractEyewitnesses’ reluctance to reject a photographic lineup from which the perpetrator is absent has sent numerous innocent people to jail. Two groups of witnesses are particularly likely to make this error: children and older adults. In the case of children, the rate of false identifications on photographic lineups has been decreased using the wildcard, a card depicting the silhouette of a head and shoulders, over which a large blue question mark has been superimposed (Zajac & Karageorge, 2009; Karageorge & Zajac, 2011); children can point to the wildcard if the perpetrator is absent. Given that older adults’ false identifications are often attributed to poor memory for lineup instructions, we wondered whether the wildcard could work with this population, by serving as a reminder that the perpetrator might not be in the lineup. Young (aged 17 to 28 years) and older (aged 61 to 84 years) adults viewed 6 short film clips, each depicting a person committing a crime. Approximately 10 minutes after each film, participants were presented with a 6-person target-absent or target-present lineup. Half of the participants were presented with lineups containing the wildcard, and asked to point to the wildcard if the perpetrator was absent. Remaining participants were not presented with the wildcard, and were instructed to verbally reject the lineup if the perpetrator was not present. Participants’ memory for the lineup instructions was recorded prior to administration of the second lineup. Young adults outperformed older adults, irrespective of lineup composition or rejection condition. Memory for instructions did not differ as a function of age, but was positively related to target-absent lineup performance in the control group. The wildcard improved memory for the lineup instructions, but did not significantly increase lineup performance. Alternative cognitive explanations for poor lineup performance among older adults are explored.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.subjectlineup performance
dc.subjectolder adults
dc.title"I'm pretty sure that might be him". Investigating the Effect of a 'Wildcard' on Young and Older Adults' Lineup Performance
dc.language.rfc3066en of Science of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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