In the case where eyewitnesses are asked to identify a person through a photo-spread or lineup, eyewitnesses are usually required to describe the person verbally beforehand. The verbal descriptions are used to judge the reliability of following identification. However, are verbal descriptions of faces diagnostic of identification reliability? And do verbal descriptions affect identification reliability? Several psychological studies have given negative answers to the first question, but a naturalistic experiment suggests the diagnostic usefulness of verbal descriptions. As for the second question, psychological experiments suggest that the possibility of both facilitating and inhibiting effects of verbal description on identification. The factors required to use such psychological research in a practical area, such as a court judgment, are discussed.