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The impact of external facial features on the construction of facial composites.

Brown, C., Portch, E., Skelton, F., Fodarella, C., Kuivaniemi-Smith, H., Herold, K., Hancock, P. J. B. and Frowd, C. D., 2019. The impact of external facial features on the construction of facial composites. Ergonomics, 62 (4), 575-592.

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DOI: 10.1080/00140139.2018.1556816

Abstract

Witnesses may construct a composite face of a perpetrator using a computerised interface. Police practitioners guide witnesses through this unusual process, the goal being to produce an identifiable image. However, any changes a perpetrator makes to their external facial-features may interfere with this process. In Experiment 1, participants constructed a composite using a holistic interface one day after target encoding. Target faces were unaltered, or had altered external-features: (i) changed hair, (ii) external-features removed or (iii) naturally-concealed external-features (hair, ears, face-shape occluded by a hooded top). These manipulations produced composites with more error-prone internal-features: participants’ familiar with a target’s unaltered appearance less often provided a correct name. Experiment 2 applied external-feature alterations to composites of unaltered targets; although whole-face composites contained less error-prone internal-features, identification was impaired. Experiment 3 replicated negative effects of changing target hair on construction and tested a practical solution: selectively concealing hair and eyes improved identification.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0014-0139
Uncontrolled Keywords:facial composite; altered external-features; hair; holistic face processing; witness
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:31719
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:01 Feb 2019 11:18
Last Modified:04 Feb 2020 01:08

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