Blinder, M. (9/6/03). Exposing eyewitness fallibility. WebPsychEmpiricist. Retrieved (date) from

The eyewitness offers the sort of testimony most highly esteemed by juries, yet paradoxically, by any objective standard, is perhaps the least reliable. The witnesses’ disabling stress during crucial events, post-event contamination, cross-racial issues, and an undue weapon focus are just a few of the factors that explain why even highly confident and persuasive eyewitnesses often get things wrong. Jurors too must be disabused of misconceptions about eyewitness reliability if they are to put such testimony in proper perspective. In this paper, we detail ways of addressing eyewitness weaknesses and the use of an eyewitness expert to help jurors replace their “common sense” but erroneous beliefs with counterintuitive but scientifically valid evidence.

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Editor's note: By design, this article is lightly referenced. A more elaborate bibliography can be found in chapter 17, "Exposing the fallibility of the eyewitness", of the author's book, Psychiatry in the Everyday Practice of Law (3rd ed.: 1992), Cumulative Supplement of July 2001. Buy it from Amazon ($) via WPE's Notable Books feature.