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# Studies of the reliability of eyewitness identifications

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Director
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Studies of the reliability of eyewitness identifications [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2007, 04:55
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Studies of the reliability of eyewitness identifications show little correlation between the accuracy of a witness's account and the confidence the witness has in the account. Certain factors can increase or undermine a witness's confidence without altering the accuracy of the identification. Therefore, police officers are advised to disallow suspect lineups in which witnesses can hear one another identifying suspects.

Which one of the following is a principle underlying the advice given to police officers?

(A) The confidence people have in what they remember having seen is affected by their awareness of what other people claim to have seen.
(B) Unless an eyewitness is confronted with more than one suspect at a time, the accuracy of his or her statements cannot be trusted.
(C) If several eyewitnesses all identify the same suspect in a lineup, it is more likely that the suspect committed the crime than if only one eyewitness identifies the suspect.
(D) Police officers are more interested in the confidene witnesses have when testifying than in the accuracy of that testimony.
(E) The accuracy of an eyewitness account is doubtful if the eyewitness contradicts what other eyewitnesses claim to have seen.
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06 Aug 2007, 07:05
D for me
Director
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06 Aug 2007, 08:00
The conclusion is based on the confidence of the witnesses...the accuracy is same...D best illustrates this point.
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06 Aug 2007, 15:40

Certain factors can increase or undermine a witness's confidence without altering the accuracy of the identification. Therefore, police officers are advised to disallow suspect lineups in which witnesses can hear one another identifying suspects.

A shows that having other witnesses around can affect a person's confidence.
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06 Aug 2007, 15:54
I selected A too.
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06 Aug 2007, 17:43
I think it's "E"
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06 Aug 2007, 17:54
[quote="botirvoy"] Certain factors can increase or undermine a witness's confidence without altering the accuracy of the identification.

(A) The confidence people have in what they remember having seen is affected by their awareness of what other people claim to have seen.

I choose A. A witness may second-guess his own memory if he hears someone else who contradicts him. That shows that he doesn't have confidence in his own account, but not that his own account isn't accurate.
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06 Aug 2007, 18:37
botirvoy wrote:
Studies of the reliability of eyewitness identifications show little correlation between the accuracy of a witness's account and the confidence the witness has in the account. Certain factors can increase or undermine a witness's confidence without altering the accuracy of the identification. Therefore, police officers are advised to disallow suspect lineups in which witnesses can hear one another identifying suspects.

Which one of the following is a principle underlying the advice given to police officers?

(A) The confidence people have in what they remember having seen is affected by their awareness of what other people claim to have seen.
(B) Unless an eyewitness is confronted with more than one suspect at a time, the accuracy of his or her statements cannot be trusted.
(C) If several eyewitnesses all identify the same suspect in a lineup, it is more likely that the suspect committed the crime than if only one eyewitness identifies the suspect.
(D) Police officers are more interested in the confidene witnesses have when testifying than in the accuracy of that testimony.
(E) The accuracy of an eyewitness account is doubtful if the eyewitness contradicts what other eyewitnesses claim to have seen.

I choose A. It seems like the only relevant one.
Accuracy has no relation to confidence here, so B, D, E are out. C is out of scope.
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06 Aug 2007, 19:23
The passage clearly talks about confidence. Considering that only A and D qualify.

A correlates confidence and accuracy... and the first line in the passage seems to take off from where A left.

D seems to be the reason why this whole argument is going on.

I am slightly in favor of A because of the flow.
But only slightly
Director
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07 Aug 2007, 01:48
I dont think I still get it; I interpret the question as "why police said what he said?" So, in choices I look for the one that shows the logic behind police's statement.

"A" essentially says that confidence is affected by blah blah. But from the stem we know that irrespective of the state of confidence, the accuracy is not affected. And again, to my understanding , it is accuracy that seems at issue, not confidence.
"D" seems even worse; it only mentions about confidence.

I will not post OA untill we will have some convincing entries (sorry!)
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07 Aug 2007, 03:17
bkk145 wrote:
botirvoy wrote:
Studies of the reliability of eyewitness identifications show little correlation between the accuracy of a witness's account and the confidence the witness has in the account. Certain factors can increase or undermine a witness's confidence without altering the accuracy of the identification. Therefore, police officers are advised to disallow suspect lineups in which witnesses can hear one another identifying suspects.

Which one of the following is a principle underlying the advice given to police officers?

(A) The confidence people have in what they remember having seen is affected by their awareness of what other people claim to have seen.
(B) Unless an eyewitness is confronted with more than one suspect at a time, the accuracy of his or her statements cannot be trusted.
(C) If several eyewitnesses all identify the same suspect in a lineup, it is more likely that the suspect committed the crime than if only one eyewitness identifies the suspect.
(D) Police officers are more interested in the confidene witnesses have when testifying than in the accuracy of that testimony.
(E) The accuracy of an eyewitness account is doubtful if the eyewitness contradicts what other eyewitnesses claim to have seen.

I choose A. It seems like the only relevant one.
Accuracy has no relation to confidence here, so B, D, E are out. C is out of scope.

Before the concluding part of the sentence starts with "therefore", we have a statement which states that

"Certain factors can increase or undermine a witness's confidence without altering the accuracy of the identification"

This must relate to the underlying principle...that hearing others affects their judgment and therefore their confidence..accuracy remaining the same. If your confidence is broken how can you testify successfully...so police has to act.

Therefore A.
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07 Aug 2007, 06:32
botirvoy wrote:
I dont think I still get it; I interpret the question as "why police said what he said?" So, in choices I look for the one that shows the logic behind police's statement.

"A" essentially says that confidence is affected by blah blah. But from the stem we know that irrespective of the state of confidence, the accuracy is not affected. And again, to my understanding , it is accuracy that seems at issue, not confidence.
"D" seems even worse; it only mentions about confidence.

I will not post OA untill we will have some convincing entries (sorry!)

Based on what you noted, I don't think you are looking at the stem correctly and I could see why (I was puzzled at first as well). But it is in the oh-so-subtle play of words. The argument is not saying that there is little correlation between accuracy and the confidence of the witnesses- he/she is saying there is little correlation between the RELIABILITY of the two. The second sentence tells us directly that "certain" factors could affect a person's confidence. So the issue is not so much with the accuracy but more with the confidence. Clearly A establishes a reason how their confidence could be affected if they hear somebody else's account. They might second guess themselves if their confidence is shot. So the police should isolate the witnesses from each other to get better information and an "untainted" account.
A good example to illustrate this would be how when I am going through these threads on the forum to answer questions, I focus on the first post with just the question. I try to answer first without looking at how others responded because I know that might affect my answer if everybody else answered otherwise.

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07 Aug 2007, 13:55
botirvoy wrote:
Studies of the reliability of eyewitness identifications show little correlation between the accuracy of a witness's account and the confidence the witness has in the account. Certain factors can increase or undermine a witness's confidence without altering the accuracy of the identification. Therefore, police officers are advised to disallow suspect lineups in which witnesses can hear one another identifying suspects.

Which one of the following is a principle underlying the advice given to police officers?

(A) The confidence people have in what they remember having seen is affected by their awareness of what other people claim to have seen.
(B) Unless an eyewitness is confronted with more than one suspect at a time, the accuracy of his or her statements cannot be trusted.
(C) If several eyewitnesses all identify the same suspect in a lineup, it is more likely that the suspect committed the crime than if only one eyewitness identifies the suspect.
(D) Police officers are more interested in the confidene witnesses have when testifying than in the accuracy of that testimony.
(E) The accuracy of an eyewitness account is doubtful if the eyewitness contradicts what other eyewitnesses claim to have seen.

I go with A.
Police officers are more interested in the confidence than the accuracy.-Well this statement is flawed as written. Nowhere the passage says that undermine the accuracy and go for the confidence. All it says is that the witness account can be altered by other people'#s accoutns so separate them. A is the clear choice.
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07 Aug 2007, 14:30
It's D!

They say in the passage that the confidence of a witness has little affect on their accuracy.

Quote:
Studies of the reliability of eyewitness identifications show little correlation between the accuracy of a witness's account and the confidence the witness has in the account

so if something changes their confidence it doesn't affect how accurate their account is.

A says:

Quote:
(A) The confidence people have in what they remember having seen is affected by their awareness of what other people claim to have seen.

given what we learned in the passage it shouldn't matter if their confidence is affected or not because their accuracy will remain about the same. so why would the police say that based on A if the accuracy remains the same? the only logical reason would be D.

Quote:
Police officers are more interested in the confidence witnesses have when testifying than in the accuracy of that testimony.

the police are worried peoples confidence will be affected even if their accuracy remains the same. I guess it implies that police want a witness that can put someone away by being confident at trial...they just don't care as much about getting the right guy to put away.
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07 Aug 2007, 14:45
we are given that there is no correlation between the witness's confidence and accuracy of identification. His confidence can be increased or decreased without altering the accuracy of the identification. - this is the key. Let say witness is going wrongly identify a suspect based on his memory, but some factors (such as hearing other witness identify) can increase or decrease his confidence and might also make him change his decision. and Same is true even if he was going to correctly identify a suspect. So this factor has no clear positive or negative effect on the witness's accuracy and thus eliminating the factor itself makes it easier to evaluate the results. -> Therefore, police officers are advised to disallow suspect lineups in which witnesses can hear one another identifying suspects.

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07 Aug 2007, 15:32
I dont know about you all but C makes most sense to me..

the principle is that "witness account" in a line-up is almost like finding the real culprit...so whatever the police do, they must make sure that the witness testimony in a line-up remains intact and not be compromised!

based on the passage, the passage basically says that the witness confidence could be altered but their accuracy is not related to the confidence...however the advice in the passage says that the police should do its best to keep the witness line-up process clean and not compromised..

C gets that IMO..
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07 Aug 2007, 19:48
The conclusion clearly states that suspect lineups should be disallowed because witnesses can hear each other when they identify suspects.

A fits the bill. If a witness's confidence is affected by other witnesses, then police lineups should be discontinued.
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07 Aug 2007, 20:03
If we restrict the answer to the cop's training then they whoudl have been told not to get influenced by "confidence" but by the accuracy which I believe D states

I will pick D (and I know that I am worst at LSAT CRs )

A is a very close contender
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08 Aug 2007, 02:34
Question: What is the PRINCIPLE underlying the advice given to the police.

Advice to Police: Police officers are advised to disallow suspect lineups in which witnesses can hear one another identifying suspects.

Implication:Witness on hearing one another can affect the decision in identifying the correct suspect.

Passage states: Certain factors can increase or undermine a witness's confidence without altering the accuracy of the identification.

This means: What other people claim to have seen (as in the implication) can in this case undermine a witness confidence without altering the accuracy of the identity.

The confidence people have in what they remember having seen is affected by their awareness of what other people claim to have seen

What is the OA, dude?
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08 Aug 2007, 04:19
I am almost convinced that the answer should be A.

OA is A! Thank you all.

I think,as beckee noted(:good ), the stem makes a subtle distinction between RELIABILITY, CONFIDENCE, and ACCURACY, with RELIABILITY being at issue.
"A" ensures that "certain factor" does not hamper the RELIABILITY of the account.

any views are welcome!

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