· The aim of the study was to look at a number of effects on eyewitness testimony, such as being prepared to be a witness; the target wearing a disguise; a four hour time gap between an incident and interview; gender; cognitive interviewing and whether the target was present in a photo line up.
· A large sample of participants aged between 18 and 70 took part in the experiment. They were split into different conditions (listed below) and then the experiment took place. The conditions were:
Whether the target was wearing a disguise or not
Whether the participant was male or female
Whether the participant was interviewed straight after being approached or four hours later
Whether the participant was prepared for the interview or not
Whether cognitive interview techniques were used or not
Whether the photo of the target was present in the photo line up or not
· The participants were approached in public by a young woman who asked them either to help look for lost jewellery or for directions. After this, the participants were approached by a female researcher who asked them if they would take part in a study. They were asked questions about the target’s physical features and clothing, and were then asked to identify her in a photo line up consisting of 6 photos. In one set of photos, the target’s photo was absent. In another set it was present. After the study the participants were debriefed.
· Another aspect to the study involved asking students to predict the participant’s actions, in order to ascertain how a jury would think an eyewitness would react.