Author ORCID Identifier

Clinkinbeard -

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2006

Publication Title

Law & Psychology Review



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Last Page



When lawmakers implemented the AMBER Alert System, they initi­ated a system designed to save the lives of missing children. However, the system might not be working as well as possible. If psychological research on related areas (e.g., memory and witness identification) extends to AMBER Alerts, it is likely that the system can be improved.

Section II of this article begins with a description and history of the AMBER Alert System, followed by a brief discussion of the effectiveness of the system. Section III continues with a review of numerous psycho­ logical studies that have important implications when applied to the AMBER Alert System. In Section IV, the authors make suggestions for improvements to the AMBER Alert System based on the reviewed re­ search literature. Section V offers policy suggestions for improving the System, such as designating more money toward psychological research on AMBER Alerts. Finally, the paper concludes with suggestions for future research directly measuring the effectiveness of the AMBER Alert System. These steps are desperately needed to fully realize the visions of lawmakers who crafted the legislation.


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