Running head: Relative judgment. When the relative judgment theory proved to be false



A commonly accepted theory is that when witnesses can identify culprits in lineups, they will concentrate on him. On the other hand, when they cannot they compare between lineup members and choose the person most similar to the culprit. Therefore they will divide their gaze more equally between foils. An eye tracker was used with a 48-person lineup (four screens with twelve photos in each) in an attempt to demonstrate the superiority of gaze behavior over the verbal response. Surprisingly witnesses usually concentrated on some foil as much as they did on the target. Alternate theories are required to explain the reduction of false identifications in sequential lineups. The advantage of large lineups was demonstrated. Police may use them in conjunction with eye trackers to find culprits that witnesses focus on despite saying that they are absent, the only known method to increase correct identifications.

General Information

Keywords: relative judgment, eye tracker, large lineup, identification, gaze behavior, simultaneous lineup.

Journal rubric: Foreign Studies in Legal Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Levi A. Running head: Relative judgment. When the relative judgment theory proved to be false [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2015. Vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 141–149. DOI: 10.17759/psylaw.2015050412. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Avraham Levi, PhD, On pension from Israeli Police, Israel Police, Jerusalem, Israel, e-mail:



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