An evaluation of US systems for facial composite production



Frowd CD, McQuiston-Surrett D, Anandaciva S, Ireland CG & Hancock PJB (2007) An evaluation of US systems for facial composite production. Ergonomics, 50 (12), pp. 1987-1998.

Witness and victims of serious crime are normally requested to construct a facial composite of a suspect’s face. While modern systems for constructing composites have been evaluated extensively in the UK, this is not the case in the US. In the current work, two popular computerized systems in the US, FACES and Identikit 2000, were evaluated against a ‘reference’ system, PRO-fit, where performance is established. In Experiment 1, witnesses constructed a composite with both PRO-fit and FACES using a realistic procedure. The resulting composites were very poorly named, but the PRO-fit emerged best in ‘cued’ naming and two supplementary measures: composite sorting and likeness ratings. In Experiment 2, PRO-fit was compared with Identikit 2000, a sketch-like feature system. Spontaneous naming was again very poor, but both cued naming and sorting suggested that the systems were similar. The results support previous findings that modern systems do not produce identifiable composites.

facial composite; witness; evaluation; interview; crime; Face Physiology; Visual perception Face; Face perception Computer systems United States

Ergonomics: Volume 50, Issue 12

Publication date31/12/2007
Publication date online21/11/2007
PublisherTaylor & Francis

People (1)


Professor Peter Hancock

Professor Peter Hancock

Professor, Psychology