Research Output

Familiarity effects in the construction of facial composite images using modern software systems.

  We investigate the effect of target familiarity on the construction of facial composites, as used by law-enforcement to locate criminal suspects. Two popular software construction methods were investigated. Participants were shown a target face that was either familiar or unfamiliar to them and constructed a composite of it from memory using a typical ‘feature’ system, involving selection of individual facial-features, or one of the newer ‘holistic’ types, involving repeated selection and breeding from arrays of whole faces. The study found that composites constructed of a familiar face were named more successfully than composites of an unfamiliar face; also, naming of composites of internal and external features were equivalent for unfamiliar targets, but internal features were better named than external features for familiar targets. These findings applied to both systems, although benefit emerged for the holistic type due to more accurate construction of internal features and evidence for a whole-face advantage.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    30 November 2010

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Taylor and Francis

  • DOI:

    10.1080/00140139.2011.623328

  • ISSN:

    0014-0139

  • Library of Congress:

    BF Psychology

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    158 Applied psychology

Citation

Frowd, C. D., Skelton, F. C., Butt, N., Hassan, A., Fields, S. & Hancock, P. J. B. (2010). Familiarity effects in the construction of facial composite images using modern software systems. Ergonomics. 54, 1147-1158. doi:10.1080/00140139.2011.623328. ISSN 0014-0139

Authors

Keywords

Facial composite; eyewitness; evolutionary algorithms; facial feature; memory

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