Faye Skelton
Faye Skelton

Dr Faye Skelton SFHEA

Lecturer

Biography

I am a Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology and Programme Lead of MSc Applied Criminology and Forensic Psychology. Prior to joining Edinburgh Napier in December 2014, I worked at the University of Central Lancashire as Lecturer (2004-2008) and then Senior Lecturer in Psychology.

With a PhD in face recognition, I am broadly interested in the psychology of evidence (including perception, memory, and decision-making in forensic contexts) and miscarriages of justice. 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 currently working on three externally funded projects, one (BA/Leverhulme) exploring the experiences of persons who have been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned (working with MOJO Scotland), a Royal Society of Edinburgh Network Grant addressing fake news (misinformation and disinformation), and another investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Scottish Justice Voluntary Sector (working with the Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector Forum). Beyond research impact my work has impact via knowledge exchange with stakeholders including police, government, other statutory, and voluntary sector organisations.

I am a Senior Fellow of Advance HE and a member of the British Psychological Society and American Psychological Association. I have served as External Examiner for BPS-accredited undergraduate psychology programmes at the University of Lincoln (2014-2018) and the University of the West of England (2019-2023) and have examined multiple PhDs and other research degrees externally and internally. I currently supervise six PhD students, three as part of interdisciplinary teams working with colleagues in the School of Health and Social Care and Arts and Creative Industries.

I enjoy taking my work out to the public and as well as writing for The Conversation I have written and delivered shows for The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival, Northern Ireland Science Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, as well as several Skeptics Societies and other specialist groups. I have also contributed to podcasts including the popular BBC Witch Hunt series (2019) and most recently for the New Zealand-based Smooth Brain Society.

Events

Esteem

Conference Organising Activity

  • 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
  • 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 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 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.
  • The impact of morphing on own- and other-race facial composites. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section conference, University of Reading
  • Lost in Space: Optimising search space in EvoFIT. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section conference, University of Glasgow
  • 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
  • Session organiser and Chair at International Conference for Emerging Security Technologies, University of Central Lancashire, 2011.
  • 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 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 miscarriages of justice, BBC Radio Scotland Sunday Morning programme, 14/1/24
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • "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
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Disinformation Superhighway: Fake news, how it pervades the current media landscape, and what we can do about it. This event, at which I presented on and discussed false confessions, was a collaboration between ENU and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Skeptics groups, and organised as part of our successful RSE network grant.22nd February.
  • Invited: Smooth Brain Society podcast. This hour-long podcast interview explores my research career covering the psychology of evidence and miscarriages of justice. Recorded 12th October.
  • Invited: The 'Making a Murderer Effect' for Cambridge Skeptics. 21st June.
  • Invited: Suspect Confessions. Show for Skeptics at The Fringe, 27th August.
  • Convicting the Innocent: Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 7th, 23rd & 27th August.
  • Invited and fee-paying: Suspect Confessions, Cheltenham Science Festival, 12th June.
  • Invited: When innocent becomes guilty: The psychology of false confessions for Skeptics in the Pub, 2nd September.
  • Invited: Equal Midlothian "Bite-sized research". Online event exploring the impact of inequalities, where I spoke about the role of inequality in miscarriages of justice. 4th March.
  • Invited and fee-paying: Pants on Fire! at the Northern Ireland Science Festival, 18 February.
  • Invited: Suffer the Witch: Expert panel member (on false confessions) to contribute to a half day conference (general public invited) on the Scottish witchcraft panics. Riddles Court, 23rd January.
  • Pants on Fire! Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Wrote and performed show on 3rd and 12th August
  • Mythbusting at Midlothian Science Festival: This event involved informal discussions about my research and psychology. Dalkeith Library, 10th October
  • Invited and fee-paying: Suspect Confessions at the Northern Ireland Science Festival, 22nd February.
  • Invited: Dine and Debate: Presentation and discussion on false confessions and discuss with the audience at this event as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, April 14th.
  • Invited: 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, 8th October.
  • Invited: 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, 19 July.
  • Invited: Proof or Lies: Expert panel member for this show at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, 5th April.
  • Fitness to Witness: A Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas show for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe performed on 14th and 17th August.
  • Invited: Lies, Damn Lies, and MRIs: I wrote and delivered this public lecture on the pitfalls of lie detection techniques to the Edinburgh Skeptics Society, 4th April.
  • Invited: Lies, Damn Lies, and MRIs: I wrote and delivered this public lecture on the pitfalls of lie detection techniques to the Glasgow Skeptics Society, July.

 

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
  • Emerging Security Technologies conference reviewing
  • Peer review for Child Development
  • Peer review for Journal of Visualised Experiments
  • Peer review for Frontiers in Psychology journal range

 

Date


42 results

Designing out Barriers - Student Partnership for Student Voice Research

Presentation / Conference
Garden, C., Skelton, F., & Calabrese, P. (2024, September)
Designing out Barriers - Student Partnership for Student Voice Research. Presented at RAISE Annual Conference 2024, Leicester
We are committed to creating a culture of inclusion at Edinburgh Napier University. Listening to and respecting the student voice are part of the culture – to be an inclusive ...

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
Watson, F. (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 ...

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.