The Mansour Lab is run by Dr Jamal K. Mansour in the Division of Psychology and Sociology.

Research in the Mansour Lab focuses on how people make decisions about faces. Most of my research concerns decision making with police lineups but I also conduct research on basic face recognition issues and in other experimental forensic psychology areas.

  • Theories of how people make decisions about police lineups (identity parades/photo arrays/photoboards)
  • Factors that influence the fairness of lineups
  • How good versus poor quality memories influence lineup decision making
  • Lineup biases and their influence on lineup decisions
  • How familiarity with faces builds up
  • Whether familiar faces are automatically recognized
  • Friendly fire

I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Sociology at Queen Margaret University. I did my graduate work in the Department of Psychology at Queen's University and I hold undergraduate degrees from the University of Alberta in Psychology and Criminology.

I collaborate with postgraduate and undergraduate students.

If you are interested in volunteering in my lab or doing your postgraduate work under my supervision, please email me.


If someone showed you a picture of your mother and asked who was pictured, you would probably say "my mother." This decision would be almost automatic; but why is that? What if the picture showed your mother when she was eight years old? Would the decision still be automatic? What if you had to pick your mother out of a set of six pictures? What if it was a police officer you were speaking with and he was asking you to pick a criminal out of a lineup? Decision making underlies much of our behaviour and the impact of those decisions varies from negligible to changing lives. My research broadly concerns applied decision making, and more specifically concerns how people make decisions about faces.

Eyewitness Memory: Lineups

Eyewitness memory refers to memory for a criminal event. When someone witnesses a crime, the police often ask them to describe the criminal, and then they search for a suspect. Once a suspect is found, witnesses are often asked to view police lineups. Criminal investigations and convictions rely heavily on eyewitness testimony in court. In particular, the conviction of a perpetrator may depend on whether a witness selects the suspect from a police lineup. This decision includes whether to identify anyone at all, the choice of a particular person, and the confidence associated with these decisions. I am interested in how this decision process occurs.

Much of my research concerns how the decision to identify someone from a lineup varies under different circumstances, such as when the criminal was wearing a disguise at the time of the crime, when the lineup members were presented one at a time (simultaneous) versus all at once (sequentially), when the witness viewed the criminal for a short versus a long time, when different kinds of instructions about how to make the decision are given to witnesses, etc.

Eyewitness Memory: The Weapon Focus Effect

The Weapon Focus Effect refers to findings that witnesses have poorer eyewitness memories when they witness events involving a weapon than when they witness events not involving a weapon. Witnesses may focus on a weapon to the exclusion of other items such as the face of a perpetrator or other witnesses. However, the weapon focus effect has found differential support. Laboratory research reliably shows the Weapon Focus Effect but reviews of actual eyewitness testimony paint a different picture. Eyewitnesses to real crimes have much better memory for peripheral details in the presence versus absence of weapons than participants in most studies. I am currently testing possible reasons for this discrepancy.

Face Recognition

Quality of memory is obviously related to recognition accuracy: you are much more likely to recognize your mother than your waiter from dinner last week. How are good quality memories produced? Should this be defined in terms of duration, frequency, or pattern of encoding? What constitutes a single exposure to a face? In order to understand how faces move from being unfamiliar to familiar, it is important to define what the unit of exposure that produces memory.

Friendly Fire

Pat Tillman was a well-known football player for the Arizona Cardinals who quit his career in the NFL to join the US Army Rangers. In April of 2004 he was shot and killed by fellow American soldiers. Friendly fire is a concern for police forces and the military. One line of research I am following concerns the cues that lead to friendly fire. Some that have been looked at by myself and others include individual factors (impulsivity, stereotypes), perceptual factors (motion), and appearance (pose, presence of an object, clothing).


You can access some of my publications through the QMU eResearch site.

Below is a list of my most recent publications.

  • Bertrand, M. I., Lindsay, R. C. L., Mansour, J. K., Beaudry, J. L., Kalmet, N., & Melsom, E. I. (in press). Do lineup procedures of Canadian and U.S. police officers adhere to national policy recommendations? Manitoba Law Journal.
  • Mansour, J. K., Lindsay, R. C. L., & Beaudry, J. L. (2017) Accuracy and confidence in lineup decisions across single and multiple trials. Behavior Research Methods. doi: 10.3758/s13428-017-0855-0
  •  Mansour, J. K., Beaudry, J. L., Kalmet, N. K., Bertrand, M, I., & Lindsay, R. C. L. (2017). Evaluating lineup fairness: Variations across methods and measures. Law and Human Behavior, 41, 103-115. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000203

  • Beaudry, J. L., Lindsay, R. C. L., Leach, A.-M., Mansour, J. K.& Bertrand, M. I. (2015). The impact of evidence type, identification accuracy, lineup presentation, and lineup administration on observer belief of eyewitnesses. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 2, 343- 364. doi:10.1111/lcrp.12030

  • Mansour, J. K., Beaudry, J. L., Bertrand, M. I., Kalmet, N., Melsom, E., & Lindsay, R. C. L. (2012). Impact of disguise on identification decision and confidence with simultaneous and sequential lineups. Law and Human Behavior, 36, 513-526. doi: 10.1037/h0093937

  • Kalmet, N. K., Lindsay, R. C. L., Bertrand, M. I., & Mansour, J. K. (2011). Factors influencing the identification accuracy of child witnesses. In S. Anand (Ed). Children and Law: Essays in Honour of Professor Nicholas Bala. Toronto: Irwin Law (pp 93 – 113)

  • Lindsay, R. C. L., Mansour, J. K., Bertrand, M. I., Kalmet, N., & Melsom, E. (2011). Face perception and recognition in eyewitness memory. In A. Calder, G. Rhodes, M. Johnson, J. Haxby, & J. Keane (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Face Perception, Toronto: Oxford University Press (pp 307-328)

  • Mansour, J. K. (2011). On biases in police lineups. The Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted Quarterly, 3, 3-5.

  • Mansour, J. K., & Flowe, H. D. (2010). Eye tracking and eyewitness memory. Forensic Update, 101, 11-15.

  • Mansour, J. K., & Lindsay, R. C. L. (2010). Facial Recognition. In I. B. Weiner & W. E. Craighead (Eds.) Corsini’s Encyclopedia of Psychology, 4th edition, Wiley. doi: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0342

  • Mansour, J. K., Lindsay, R. C. L, Brewer, N., & Munhall, K. G. (2009). Characterizing visual behavior on a lineup task. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 23, 1012 - 1026. doi: 10.1002/acp.1570

  • Lindsay, R. C. L., Mansour, J. K., Beaudry, J. L., Leach, A. -M., & Bertrand, M. I. (2009). Sequential lineup presentation: Patterns and policy. Legal & Criminological Psychology, 14, 13-24. doi:10.1348/135532508X382708

  • Lindsay, R. C. L., Mansour, J. K., Beaudry, J. L., Leach, A. -M., & Bertrand, M. I. (2009). Beyond sequential presentation: Misconceptions and misrepresentations of sequential lineups. Legal & Criminological Psychology, 14, 31-34. doi:10.1348/135532508X382708

  • Mansour, J. K., Beaudry, J. L., Bertrand, M. I., & Lindsay, R. C. L. (2007, December). Simultaneous and sequential presentation. In B. L. Cutler (Ed.) Encyclopaedia of Psychology and Law, Sage. (pp 748 – 749). doi: 10.4135/9781412959537.n290

  • Bertrand, M. I., Beaudry, J. L., Mansour, J. K., & Lindsay, R. C. L. (2007, December). Clothing bias. In B. L. Cutler (Ed.) Encyclopaedia of Psychology and Law, Sage. (pp 95-96) doi: 10.4135/9781412959537.n36



You can download a copy of my CV.

Contact Me

Psychology & Sociology
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
Queen Margaret University Drive
musselburgh, East Lothian, UK
EH21 6UU

Phone: +44 (0)131 474 0000
say "Jam-el Man-sir" when asked to indicate who you wish to call

Fax:+44 (0) 131 474 0001


Profile Page - Dr Jamal K. Mansour

I am currently recruiting postgraduate students and undergraduate volunteers. If you are interested in joining my lab, please email me. The research tab above provides details about the types of projects I supervise. You can follow me on twitter @EyewitnessIDup. You can learn more about my work and the work of my colleagues in the Memory Research Group and about the research centre I am a part of, the Centre for Applied Social Sciences.



Mansour Lab Psychology Research

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Mansour Lab Psychology Research

Dr Jamal K. Mansour Lecturer in Psychology and Sociology
0131 474 0000

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