Interviewing Techniques for Darwinian Facial-Composite Systems



Frowd CD, Nelson L, Skelton FC, Noyce R, Atkins R, Heard P, Morgan D, Fields S, Henry J, McIntyre AH & Hancock PJB (2012) Interviewing Techniques for Darwinian Facial-Composite Systems. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26 (4), pp. 576-584.

Eyewitnesses are often asked to describe the appearance of an offender’s face, normally as part of a cognitive interview (CI), and then to construct a facial composite of it by selecting hair, eyes, nose, etc. Recent research indicates that facial composites of this type are rendered much-more identifiable when constructors focus on global character (holistic) judgements of the face after having recalled it in detail. Here, we investigated whether components of this so-called 'holistic' CI (H-CI) were applicable to newer 'evolving' (Darwinian) methods of face construction. We found that the face description component of the interview promoted better-quality composites than the holistic component, but the most-identifiable composites emerged when both components were used together in the same interview as an H-CI. Composites were also more identifiable following description of all features of the face than an alternative involving description of hair. Implications are discussed for real-world face-construction using evolving systems.

facial composite; holistic cognitive interview; evolve; witness; EvoFIT; Face perception; Face Physiology

Applied Cognitive Psychology: Volume 26, Issue 4

Publication date31/08/2012

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Professor Peter Hancock

Professor Peter Hancock

Professor, Psychology