Witnesses point finger of blame at faces they dislike
Witnesses may point the finger at a suspect in a line-up simply because they do not like the way they look, scientists said yesterday.
Psychologists Dr Hartmut Blank and Dr Jim Sauer, of the University of Portsmouth, have been awarded £100,000 (€119,813) to examine what may influence people when picking out a possible perpetrator.
Their initial research suggests that people are more likely to identify line-up members they dislike and less likely to identify someone they like.
They say that such decisions are automatic and spontaneous rather than thought out.
Dr Blank, a specialist in memory and the effect of social influences on how and what we remember, said: "It's natural that we don't enjoy creating trouble for someone we like by identifying them as a perpetrator."