Faye Skelton
Faye Skelton

Dr Faye Skelton SFHEA

Lecturer

Biography

After completing my PhD in face recognition at Lancaster University, I worked for over ten years at the University of Central Lancashire before moving to Edinburgh Napier University in December 2014. I am interested in face perception and recognition, and memory. Primarily this is applied to the forensic field, for example looking at reliability of eyewitness evidence (including identification of perpetrators). I investigate ways of improving police facial composites ('E-FITs') in terms of how to recover information from memory, best practice for system use, and ways of improving recognition of the final image (e.g. by caricature). I am also interested in miscarriages of justice, and am currently exploring experiences of miscarriages of justice (wrongful imprisonment) with Dr Mandy Winterton on a British Academy/Leverhulme funded project.

I teach cognitive psychology and social cognition at undergraduate level, including perception, consciousness, face and object recognition, and understanding self and others. I am also Programme Leader of the MSc Applied Criminology and Forensic Psychology.

I enjoy taking my research out to the public and have delivered shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival, and Northern Ireland Science Festival.

Events

Esteem

Conference Organising Activity

  • Co-organiser of Super-Recognisers Conference. I co-organised this two-day interdisciplinary conference, with one day held at our Craiglockhart campus. May, 2016.
  • The impact of auditory face descriptions on recognition of own- and other-race faces. Paper presented at the European Association of Psychology and Law annual conference, Toulouse
  • The impact of morphing on own- and other-race facial composites. Paper presented at the European Association of Psychology and Law annual conference, Nuremberg
  • In the face of distraction: the impact of changing-state speech on person identification. Paper presented at Theoretical and Applied Aspects of Distraction conference, UCLan, April 2014
  • Symposium organiser and Chair at BPS Cognitive Section Annual Conference, Nottingham Trent University, September 2014.
  • The impact of changing state speech on person identification. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section conference, Nottingham Trent University
  • The impact of morphing on own- and other-race facial composites. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section conference, University of Reading
  • The importance of context for facial composite images. Paper presented at 'Identifying the Suspect: Improving Facial Composites' workshop, held at the Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds.
  • Lost in Space: Optimising search space in EvoFIT. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section conference, University of Glasgow
  • Session organiser and Chair at International Conference for Emerging Security Technologies, University of Central Lancashire, 2011.
  • Witness interviews: Does recall of relational information improve identifiability of a facial composites? Paper presented at International Conference for Emerging Security Technologies, University of Central Lancashire
  • EvoFIT: Police software for constructing facial composites. Poster presented at the Police Learning: A Changing World conference, University of Central Lancashire
  • The Role of Context in the Construction of Police Facial Composites. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section conference, University of Hertfordshire
  • An internal feature advantage in face recognition? Poster presentation at the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section conference, University of Southampton
  • Does facial attractiveness moderate the own-sex bias in face recognition? Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section Annual conference, University of Aberdeen
  • The role of internal and external information in children's unfamiliar face recognition. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section Annual conference, University of Leeds
  • Learning new faces: Does movement aid unfamiliar face recognition in children? Poster presented at BPS Cognitive Section annual conference, University of Reading

 

External Examining/Validations

  • BPS-accredited undergraduate Psychology programmes, University of the West of England, 2019-2023
  • BPS-accredited undergraduate Psychology programmes, University of Lincoln, 2015-2018

 

Fellowships and Awards

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

 

Grant Funding Panel Member

  • SIPR, match-funded PhD studentships

 

Grant Reviewer

  • British Academy/Leverhulme grants, 2015-present
  • ESRC large grants

 

Invited Speaker

  • Seminar speaker, Sheffield Hallam University, May 2023
  • Psychologist in the Pub: BPS West Midlands Branch, May 2019
  • Seminar Speaker, Queen Margaret University, 2017
  • Invited speaker and Expert panel member at The International Conference on The Image, Liverpool John Moores University, September 2016.
  • Seminar speaker, Sheffield Hallam University, March 2012.
  • Seminar speaker, Lancaster University, 2006.

 

Media Activity

  • Radio feature: Live broadcast interview on miscarriages of justice, BBC Radio Scotland Sunday Morning programme, 14/1/24
  • Radio feature: Live broadcast interview on miscarriages of justice, BBC Radio Scotland Drivetime 11/1/24
  • Radio feature: Live broadcast interview on miscarriages of justice, BBC Radio 5 Live Drive 10/1/24
  • Radio feature: Live broadcast interview on the Lynette Fay show about my Northern Ireland Science Festival show "Pants on Fire", BBC Radio Ulster, 18th February 2020.
  • BBC Witch Hunt: I was interviewed about false confessions by Susan Morrison for BBC radio in July, and my content was incorporated into two episodes of the six-part "Witch Hunt" podcast about the Scottish witch panics, broadcast in October and November 2019.
  • Radio feature: Live broadcast interview about the psychology of false confessions in advance of my Suspect Confessions show at the Northern Ireland Science Festival, BBC Radio Ulster, 22nd February 2019
  • When They See Us: Why did the Central Park 5 give false confessions? Express Online (interview contribution to article), 28 June, 2019
  • Dr Faye Skelton: Why suspects confess to crimes they didn't commit. The Scotsman re-published my article for The Conversation on 31/8/2018.
  • "Suspects confess to crimes they didn't commit - here's why". I was invited to write this article about false confessions for The Conversation. The article was published on the day of my 2018 Suspect Confessions show for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
  • Guilty Secret: Police Professional published a piece (author Tony Thompson) based on my article for The Conversation. Published 22/8/2018
  • Image of Charlene Downes: With Dr Charlie Frowd (then at University of Winchester) we worked with Lancashire Police to release an aged (by ten years) image of Charlene Downes, a missing teenager from Blackpool.
  • Image of Christian Grey: I constructed a facial composite image of fictional character Christian Grey (from 50 Shades of Grey by EL James), 2012. The image was quickly picked up by the media, reported on BBC News and reported on hundreds of news and popular culture websites across the world. At one point it was the top story on the BBC news website.

 

Public/Community Engagement

  • Smooth Brain Society podcast
  • Suspect Confessions, Cheltenham Science Festival, 2022
  • The 'Making a Murderer Effect' for Cambridge Skeptics
  • Equal Midlothian "Bite-sized research"
  • When innocent becomes guilty: The psychology of false confessions for Skeptics in the Pub
  • Suffer the Witch: was invited as expert panel member (on false confessions) to contribute to a half day conference on the Scottish witchcraft panics. The event was held at Riddles Court on 23rd January 2020 and was attended by the general public as well as scholars researching the area.
  • Pants on Fire! at the Northern Ireland Science Festival: I was invited to deliver this fee-paying show at NISF on 18th February 2020
  • Dine and Debate: I was invited to present on false confessions and discuss with the audience at this event as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival on April 14th 2019.
  • Pants on Fire! Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I wrote this show and delivered it twice , on 3rd and 12th August 2019
  • Mythbusting at Midlothian Science Festival: This event involved informal discussions about my research and psychology more generally with members of the public. It took place at Dalkeith Library on 10th October 2019.
  • Suspect Confessions at NISF: I was invited to deliver my Suspect Confessions show at the Northern Ireland Science Festival on 22nd February 2019.
  • When innocent becomes guilty: Psychology of false confessions: I delivered this public lecture on false confessions and miscarriages of justice for the Edinburgh Skeptics society
  • Proof or Lies: I was invited as an expert panel member for this show at the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Alongside experts in DNA and fingerprint evidence, I discussed with the audience and other experts the strengths and weaknesses of eyewitness testimony.
  • When innocent becomes guilty: Psychology of false confessions: I delivered this public lecture on false confessions and miscarriages of justice for the Glasgow Skeptics society
  • Lies, Damn Lies, and MRIs: I wrote and delivered this public lecture on the pitfalls of lie detection techniques to the Edinburgh Skeptics Society
  • Lies, Damn Lies, and MRIs: I wrote and delivered this public lecture on the pitfalls of lie detection techniques to the Glasgow Skeptics Society
  • Fitness to Witness: A Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas show for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, covering eyewitness testimony and miscarriages of justice.

 

Research Degree External Examining

  • PhD examining. Sheffield Hallam University, May 2020.
  • PhD examining, Liverpool University, June 2019.
  • MRes Examining, University of Greenwich, March 2018.

 

Reviewing

  • Peer review for Europe's Journal of Psychology
  • Peer review for Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
  • Peer review for the Journal of Cognitive Psychology
  • Peer review for Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
  • Peer review for Child Development
  • Peer review for Frontiers in Psychology journal range
  • Peer review for Journal of Visualised Experiments

 

Date


40 results

Student Belonging Good Practice Guide

Report
Garden, C., Watchman Smith, N., Naughton, C., Skelton, F., Calabrese, P., Hunter, L., …Azam, F. (2024)
Student Belonging Good Practice Guide. RAISE Network (Researching, Advancing & Inspiring Student Engagement
This Good Practice Guide offers a toolkit and a conversation starter for anyone working in higher education (HE) who is thinking about embarking on a student belonging project...

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Justice Voluntary Sector

Presentation / Conference
Skelton, F., & Haddow, C. (2023, September)
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Justice Voluntary Sector. Paper presented at European Society of Criminology (Eurocrim), Florence
Though the Justice Voluntary Sector (JVS) has long supported statutory organisations, recent years have seen the sector becoming enmeshed with the Criminal Justice System and ...

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Justice Voluntary Sector

Report
Skelton, F., & Haddow, C. (2022)
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Justice Voluntary Sector. Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum
Executive summary This report presents findings from two research projects exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on third sector justice organisations and workers in ...

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Justice Voluntary Sector

Presentation / Conference
Skelton, F., & Haddow, C. (2022, June)
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Justice Voluntary Sector. Paper presented at British Society of Criminology Annual Conference, Surrey, UK
Third sector organisations (TSOs) have a long history of complementing work done by statutory agencies in criminal justice, to the extent that that TSOs no longer sit outside ...

The influence of bias on line-up identification decisions: Is face recognition ability a factor?

Presentation / Conference
Skelton, F., & Curley, L. (2021, May)
The influence of bias on line-up identification decisions: Is face recognition ability a factor?. Paper presented at SIPR: Applied Cognitive Psychology in Forensic Settings, Online

The importance of detailed context reinstatement for the production of identifiable composite faces from memory

Journal Article
Fodarella, C., Marsh, J. E., Chu, S., Athwal-Kooner, P., Jones, H. S., Skelton, F. C., …Frowd, C. D. (2021)
The importance of detailed context reinstatement for the production of identifiable composite faces from memory. Visual Cognition, 29(3), 180-200. https://doi.org/10.1080/13506285.2021.1890292
Memory is facilitated by reflecting upon, or revisiting, the environment in which information was encoded. We investigated these “context reinstatement” (CR) techniques to imp...

Constructing identifiable composite faces: The importance of cognitive alignment of interview and construction procedure.

Journal Article
Skelton, F. C., Frowd, C. D., Hancock, P. J. B., Jones, H. S., Jones, B. C., Fodarella, C., …Logan, K. (2020)
Constructing identifiable composite faces: The importance of cognitive alignment of interview and construction procedure. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 26(3), 507-521. https://doi.org/10.1037/xap0000257
We investigated the impact of congruency between the witness interview and method used to construct a composite face. Experiment 1, using a typical feature-by-feature composi...

When They See Us: Why did the Central Park Five give false confessions?

Digital Artefact
(2019)
When They See Us: Why did the Central Park Five give false confessions?. [Newspaper article]

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

Journal Article
Brown, C., Portch, E., Skelton, F. C., Fodarella, C., Kuivaniemi-Smith, H., Herold, K., …Frowd, C. D. (2019)
The impact of external facial features on the construction of facial composites. Ergonomics, 62(4), 575-592. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2018.1556816
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 ...

Not conferencing but hardy and rewarding public engagement: Unplugged at the Fringe with the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas

Journal Article
Skelton, F. (2018)
Not conferencing but hardy and rewarding public engagement: Unplugged at the Fringe with the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas. Cognitive Psychology Bulletin,
No abstract available. Item is conference review.

Pre-Napier Funded Projects

  • British Academy/Leverhulme, £5000, In the face of distraction: Exploring the role of background speech on person identification (SG122309), University of Central Lancashire, 2012-2014.

Current Post Grad projects

Previous Post Grad projects

Non-Napier PhD or MSc by Research supervisions

  • Dilhan Toredi (Napier-QMU joint-funded PhD, based at QMU, current, completing 2024)
  • Alex Riley, PhD candidate at University of Central Lancashire, withdrew due to ill health.
  • Montana Mullen, University of Central Lancashire, Awarded, 2022.