Generalizing eyewitness reliability research

Steven Penrod, Brian H. Bornstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


Hugo Munsterberg’s book On the Witness Stand (1908) is often credited as the first effort in English to bring basic research in memory and perception to bear on questions such as whether psychologists might be better equipped than judges or juries to assess the validity of eyewitness identifications. Although Munsterberg gives passing reference to the European work of Binet, Stern, Lipmann, Jung, Wertheimer, Gross, Sommer, and Aschaffenburg, he also acknowledges that the volume is really a set of “popular sketches, which select only a few problems in which psychology and law come in contact. They deal essentially with the mind of the witness on the witness stand” (p. 11). Indeed, judge G. F. Arnold (1906) should probably be credited with an earlier, more thoughtful, scientific, legally informed, and expansive treatment of the implications of psychological research for the courts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Eyewitness Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationVolume II: Memory for People
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781135608187
ISBN (Print)0805851528, 9780805851526
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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