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Spotlight on: Tia Bennett

I’m a PhD student at the University of Birmingham, working with Dr Melissa Colloff and Professor Heather Flowe in the Applied Memory Lab. My PhD is funded by the ESRC on a 1+3 pathway – 1-year Social Research Masters and 3-year PhD. I am currently in the second year of my PhD.

My research has the primary aim of investigating how fillers (or ‘volunteers’ in the UK) should be selected for identification parades to maximise eyewitness identification accuracy, with a specific focus on the effect of suspect-filler similarity. My PhD project is in

collaboration with the National VIPER Bureau (‘VIPER’; who produce identification parades for 22 police forces in the UK.

My PhD research has both laboratory-based and field-based components. That is, we are conducting experimental research to investigate the effect of suspect-filler similarity on identification performance, but we will also use VIPER resources to look at real-world identification outcomes and real-world parade similarity, as well as how parades are created in the UK. The goal of this research is to advance theory about real-world eyewitness decision making and provide key data that are required for evidence-based procedures globally.

The UK-South Korea Eyewitness Network is a great opportunity for knowledge exchange, and I am looking forward to developing my understanding of identification procedures in South Korea and creating new research collaborations.


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