The process of facial composite production

Frowd, Charlie orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5082-1259, McQuiston-Surrett, Dawn, Kirkland, Imran and Hancock, Peter (2005) The process of facial composite production. In: Forensic Psychology and Law, 2005, Krakow.

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Facial composites remain an important tool for the apprehension of suspects. While research has led to an improvement in composite quality, contemporary systems rarely produce highly identifiable renditions in realistic studies. The current work manipulated the type of interview administered, as well as the composite face first presented to witnesses during construction. In the study, witnesses received a short exposure to a target face, then 2 days later were given a Cognitive Interview, a Holistic Interview (a set of personality ratings) or no interview. They then constructed a composite with the modern PROfit system in the normal way, by first setting the feature descriptors to obtain an ‘initial’ composite, or by proceeding from the ‘default’ composite, the first face displayed when PROfit is run. Although the composites were not named spontaneously, the result of an identification
task revealed an advantage for the Holistic Interview when used with an ‘initial’ composite.

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