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Psychology and criminal justice are fields that constantly intertwine in the search to find justice. In recent years, hundreds of innocent people have been exonerated by DNA evidence due to the work and dedication of The Innocence Project. Out of these hundreds of exonerates, about 75% of these false convictions were due to faulty eyewitness identification.

This research involves a literature review on seventeen articles on the own-race bias and how this bias affects facial identification. Own-race bias is the tendency to better recognize faces that one is most familiar with, usually one’s own race. Current research supports the conclusion that people are often flawed in their identification of races different from their own and further research can be conducted to prevent such errors.

Bringing awareness to this bias to the criminal justice system can lead to policies and procedures that decrease the likelihood of these false convictions. Examining this bias can affect the way in which lineups are conducted and the way in which judges allow the admissibility of certain eyewitnesses and evidence.

Presentation Date


Faculty Advisor

Stacy Birch, PhD�


McNair Summer Research Conference


McNair Summer 2019

The Analysis of Facial Identification and Race  Leading to Faulty Eye Witness Identification �