Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
The featural justification effect occurs when an eyewitness provides a confidence statement at the time of lineup identification that includes reference to a facial feature or component that aided them in their identification (Dodson & Dobolyi, 2015, 2017, 2018; Slane & Dodson, 2019). The result of the effect, found across several manipulations, is that jurors tend to discredit the confidence of an eyewitness that references a facial feature (such as eyes, nose, chin) in the identification statement. The current studies examined featural justification, along with eyewitness viewing conditions and legal safeguards. Participants were presented with either expert testimony (study 1) or jury instruction (study 2) with the aim of sensitizing mock jurors to eyewitness factors in the case, as well as alleviate the featural justification effect. Results of both studies replicated the featural justification effect and found a significant main effect of viewing condition on verdict, such that good viewing conditions resulted in more guilty verdicts than bad viewing conditions. Other significant findings varied between the two studies. The current findings contribute to research on the featural justification effect and include discussion of implications for cases including eyewitness evidence.
Cops, Mary, "They May Not Believe You Remembered That Nose: Juror Perceptions Of Eyewitness' Featural Justifications" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 4255.