Frowd, Charlie, Nelson, Laura, Skelton, Faye Collette, Noyce, Rosie, Atkins, Rebecca, Heard, Priscilla, Morgan, David, Fields, Steve, Henry, Joanne, McIntyre, Alex and Hancock, Peter J B
Interviewing techniques for Darwinian facial composite systems.
Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acp.2829
Eyewitnesses are often asked to describe the appearance of an offender's face, normally as part of a cognitive interview (CI), and then to construct a facial composite of it by selecting hair, eyes, nose, and so on. Recent research indicates that facial composites of this type are rendered much more identifiable when constructors focus on global character (holistic) judgements of the face after having recalled it in detail. Here, we investigated whether components of this so-called holistic CI (H-CI) were applicable to newer ‘evolving’ (Darwinian) methods of face construction. We found that the face description component of the interview promoted better-quality composites than the holistic component, but the most identifiable composites emerged when both components were used together in the same interview as an H-CI. Composites were also more identifiable following description of all features of the face than an alternative involving description of hair. Implications are discussed for real-world face construction using evolving systems.
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