Article

The impact of weapons and unusual objects on the construction of facial composites

Details

Citation

Erickson WB, Brown C, Portch E, Lampinen JM, Marsh JE, Fodarella C, Petkovic A, Coultas C, Newby A, Date L, Hancock PJB & Frowd CD (2022) The impact of weapons and unusual objects on the construction of facial composites. Psychology, Crime and Law. https://doi.org/10.1080/1068316x.2022.2079643

Abstract
The presence of a weapon in the perpetration of a crime can impede an observer’s ability to describe and/or recognise the person responsible. In the current experiment, we explore whether weapons when present at encoding of a target identity interfere with the construction of a facial composite. Participants encoded an unfamiliar target face seen either on its own or paired with a knife. Encoding duration (10 or 30 s) was also manipulated. The following day, participants recalled the face and constructed a composite of it using a holistic system (EvoFIT). Correct naming of the participants’ composites was found to reduce reliably when target faces were paired with the weapon at 10 s but not at 30 s. These data suggest that the presence of a weapon reduces the effectiveness of facial composites following a short encoding duration. Implications for theory and police practice are discussed.

Keywords
Facial composite; weapon; EvoFIT; law enforcement

Notes
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Journal
Psychology, Crime and Law

StatusIn Press
Publication date online30/06/2022
Date accepted by journal10/05/2022
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/34471
PublisherInforma UK Limited
ISSN1068-316X
eISSN1477-2744

People (1)

People

Professor Peter Hancock
Professor Peter Hancock

Professor, Psychology