Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date



Echoing McCloskey and Egeth (1983), and motivated by Kassin, Ellsworth, and Smith's (1989) survey of 63 eyewitness experts, Elliott (1993) recently attacked the use of psychological experts on eyewitness testimony. There are two principal shortcomings of this critique. First, it misrepresents the eyewitness literature and the experts who use it. Second, it merely parrots complaints of the past. The same old arguments are made about the lack of sufficient research evidence, the standards by which experts should conduct their affairs, and the impact of it all on the jury. Perhaps the field needs periodic prodding and consciousness-raising on this issue, but there is very little in this critique that is imaginative or new compared to those that preceded it. And what is new is based on an irresponsible review of the literature.