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The Forensic psychology is an important aspect to identify an incident or event to prove any legal matter. In the present essay, the discussion is focused on the reliability of an eyewitness in a crime. Thus to evaluate the findings of the mentioned problem two different factors like age and personality would be discussed. In order to identify the need for an eyewitness the as a prime factor for a crime, different others factors related to it has to be determined properly. The factors are responsible to measure the reliability of that eyewitness for being presented in a crime case as evidence. The present study would consider the influence of the two mentioned factors on the reliability of an eyewitness.

Identification of Area



The main aim of forensic psychology is to support the law in various aspects like in criminal cases, family and health problems or other court related issues. The role of an eyewitness is vital to prove a crime or for making a claim for justice. But there are several factors which can influence the relevance or authenticity of an eyewitness as prime evidence in some cases. These can be age, gender, personality and so on. They are related with each other and this can influence the relevancy of the eyewitness regarding the court process.

Factor   1

The description on the age factor



According to the science, the level of memory reduces or the capacity of holding some incident in brain decreased. This is because the number of active nerve cells responsible for the memory has decreased according to the age. Thus based on this theory the old age people are less reliable for being an eyewitness to a crime. As mentioned by Neal & Grisso (2014), in order to identify the effect of age on the reliability of the eyewitness, several studies have been done. In order to identify the individual person's' ability to recognise and recall some person or incident from some shown videos or characters, few questions were asked and based on the accuracy the level of memory has been determined. Recognition can be possible by measuring the stored material in the brain through the use of certain memory tests like asking questions, providing clues on some incident and the others. Another criterion to measure somebody's memory is the power of recalling like the ability to remember some materials or incidents based on some experienced incidents. The analysis of those two factors among the participants can help to standardize the memory level of the individual person based on their age. The reliability of the eyewitness depends on the memory level of the individual person based on their ages. As stated by Nicholls et al. (2015), the young adult eyewitness can be considered more reliable than the old age people with low memory level and low eyesight level based on their age. The number of errors met by the participants, the chance of reliability is less, whereas the less number of errors signifies more reliability.  The young adults are more confident on the cross-checking of several information has proven that they are more reliable. As stated by Murrie et al. (2013), the low level of eyesight can also be an influencing factor for the less reliability as an eyewitness. Like the memory level, the eyesight of a person has also reduced and creates a chance of less reliability of being an eyewitness.

Summary of factor 1



In the ‘Influence of eyewitness age and recall error on mock juror decision-making’ study of Kaila and Joanna in 2014, a research on the influence of age on the reliability of the eyewitness had been done (Bruer & Pozzulo, 2014).  The aim of the above-mentioned study was to find out the reliability of the eyewitness based on their age. But there was lack of evidence to prove the data that age can affect the reliability of the eyewitness. Hence the mentioned study was an initiative to establish the authenticity of the fact that age can influence the reliability of the eyewitness. The study aimed to do a review of the existing studies. In the present study, the particular age group (4-20 years) had been chosen and based on some mock test on some incident. There is some rate of errors like 0, 3, and 6 to identify the effectiveness of the participants based on the asked questions. In this study, one exclusive factor has been considered which was not there in the previous studies that are the children with the age of 4-12 had been included but in the previous studies young adult to old people were included. Those young adults have made less number of errors which was less than 3 but the old age people were less appropriate in the cross-checking test which was more than 6. 




Benjamin Jr, L. T., & Baker, D. B. (2014). From séance to science: A history of the profession of psychology in America. United States. University of Akron Press.  Retrieved on: 09th Jan 2018 From: http://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1186&context=uapress_publications

Bruer, K., & Pozzulo, J. D. (2014). Influence of eyewitness age and recall error on mock juror decisionmaking. Legal and Criminological Psychology19(2), 332-348. Retrieved on: 09th Jan 2018 From: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kaila_Bruer/publication/264612383_Influence_of_eyewitness_age_and_recall_error_on_mock_juror_decision-making/links/5a030fb8a6fdcc6b7c9c061c/Influence-of-eyewitness-age-and-recall-error-on-mock-juror-decision-making.pdf








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