Toward a more comprehensive modeling of sequential lineups

David Kellen, Ryan M. McAdoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Sequential lineups are one of the most commonly used procedures in police departments across the USA. Although this procedure has been the target of much experimental research, there has been comparatively little work formally modeling it, especially the sequential nature of the judgments that it elicits. There are also important gaps in our understanding of how informative different types of judgments can be (binary responses vs. confidence ratings), and the severity of the inferential risks incurred when relying on different aggregate data structures. Couched in a signal detection theory (SDT) framework, the present work directly addresses these issues through a reanalysis of previously published data alongside model simulations. Model comparison results show that SDT modeling can provide elegant characterizations of extant data, despite some discrepancies across studies, which we attempt to address. Additional analyses compare the merits of sequential lineups (with and without a stopping rule) relative to showups and delineate the conditions in which distinct modeling approaches can be informative. Finally, we identify critical issues with the removal of the stopping rule from sequential lineups as an approach to capture within-subject differences and sidestep the risk of aggregation biases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number65
JournalCognitive Research: Principles and Implications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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