Research on the Reliability of Eyewitness Testimony Based on an Online Study


  • Madison Elise Oran Texas A&M University


This document describes the use of eyewitness testimony in court and factors that make it both reliable and unreliable. One case study is presented. Five subjects were tested over a period of three weeks after being shown a timed presentation of a series of events that they were to be witnesses to. Seven questions were asked each week in the same order and of the same content. The findings of the experiment showed that as time progressed, the subjects became less descriptive and more inaccurate in their responses to the questions. Over the entirety of the study, the eyewitness testimony became more unreliable as the online interviews were conducted and therefore reflect unreliability overall. This leads to the belief that in real-life situations, eyewitness testimony can become inaccurate in the case of court proceedings not occurring soon after the original crime.


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