Witnesses may point the finger at a suspect in a line-up simply because they do not like the way they look, scientists said today. Psychologists have examined what may influence people when picking out a possible perpetrator in an identification parade. And initial research suggests that people are more likely to identify line-up members they dislike and less likely to identify someone they like.
'Most people think their memories are reliable but no-one is exempt from vulnerability to bias.'Some people are more resistant than others; generally, those with better memories of an event are more resistant to biases and those with poorer memories of an event are more vulnerable. 'In a police line-up, the witness goes in thinking they have a job to do.'They assume the police have caught someone and that person is standing in the line-up.'They also assume the police have other information to back up their arrest or suspicions. They think their job is to pick the suspect.