The Latest

Jan 2020 – major new paper out in American Psychologist on what’s wrong with police lineups and how to fix the problem

Brewer, N., Weber, N., & Guerin, N. (2020). Police line-ups of the future? American Psychologist, 75, 76-91.

Forthcoming article – plus a chapter just out

The article with colleagues at University of Bath (UK) extends our memory research to ASD in a special issue of Autism Research. The chapter focuses on our new ARC-funded research on how perspective taking deficits often seen in ASD individuals may contribute to problematic interactions with the police.

Maras, K., Norris, J., & Brewer, N. (in press, accepted January 24, 2020).  Metacognitive monitoring and control of eyewitness memory reports in autism.  Autism Research.

Brewer, N., & Young, R. L. (2020).  Police-citizen interactions, theory of mind, and ASD.  In F. R. Volkmar (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders.  New York, NY: Springer.

Couple of new book chapters coming from this crew

Brewer, N., Lucas, C. L., Sauer, J. D., & Palmer, M. A. (in press, 2020). Measuring the relationship between eyewitness identification confidence and accuracy. In A. Smith, M. Toglia, & J. Lampinen (Eds.), Methods, measures, and theories in eyewitness identification tasks. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

Sauer, J. D., & Brewer, N. (in press, 2020). Ratings-based identification procedures. In A. Smith, M. Toglia, & J. Lampinen (Eds.), Methods, measures, and theories in eyewitness identification tasks. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

New book out

See new book out in 2019, edited by Neil Brewer & Amy Bradfield Douglass, and published by Guilford Publications, New York. It covers a wide array of topics in the psychology-law area, with chapters written by top researchers in their fields.

See reviews from Elizabeth Loftus (UC, Irvine), Saul Kassin (John Jay, CUNY), Michael Lamb (Cambridge), Kim Wade (Warwick), Mitch Eisen (Cal State)

And a new discussion paper on the confidence-accuracy relationship for eyewitness identification:

Here Neil Brewer joins Jim Sauer and Matt Palmer, two of his former PhD students, to examine an issue that has attracted a lot of attention recently: the probative value of high confidence eyewitness identifications. There will certainly be a few researchers who won’t agree with their conclusions, but the authors believe the issues canvassed demand careful consideration.

Sauer, J. D., Palmer, M. A., & Brewer, N. (2019). Pitfalls in using eyewitness confidence to diagnose the accuracy of an individual identification decision. Psychology, Public Policy and Law, 25, 147-165.

Current Research

As has been the case for the last 20 years or so, his current research activities are divided between two main areas, both concerned with applications of experimental psychology to problems in the criminal justice system. One focus is in the area of eyewitness memory, eyewitness identification testing and the significance of eyewitness metacognitions (e.g., confidence) in interpreting eyewitness memories. The other focus relates to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), currently investigating those cognitive and social characteristics of ASD that may contribute to problematic interactions with the criminal justice system.

Follow his Psychology Today commentary on Weighing the Evidence: Memory and the mind in the criminal justice system.

“Pick the bad guy”