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Holistic facial composite creation and subsequent video line-up eyewitness identification paradigm

Holistic facial composite creation and subsequent video line-up eyewitness identification paradigm

Davis, Josh P ORCID: 0000-0003-0017-7159, Maigut, Andreea C., Jolliffe, Darrick ORCID: 0000-0003-4590-6343, Gibson, Stuart J and Solomon, Chris J (2015) Holistic facial composite creation and subsequent video line-up eyewitness identification paradigm. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 106 (e53298). pp. 1-14. ISSN 1940-087X (Online) (doi:

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The paradigm detailed in this manuscript describes an applied experimental method based on real police investigations during which an eyewitness or victim to a crime may create from memory a holistic facial composite of the culprit with the assistance of a police operator. The aim is that the composite is recognized by someone who believes that they know the culprit. For this paradigm, participants view a culprit actor on video and following a delay, participant-witnesses construct a holistic system facial composite. Controls do not construct a composite. From a series of arrays of computer-generated, but realistic faces, the holistic system construction method primarily requires participant-witnesses to select the facial images most closely meeting their memory of the culprit. Variation between faces in successive arrays is reduced until ideally the final image possesses a close likeness to the culprit. Participant-witness directed tools can also alter facial features, configurations between features and holistic properties (e.g., age, distinctiveness, skin tone), all within a whole face context. The procedure is designed to closely match the holistic manner by which humans’ process faces. On completion, based on their memory of the culprit, ratings of composite-culprit similarity are collected from the participant-witnesses. Similar ratings are collected from culprit-acquaintance assessors, as a marker of composite recognition likelihood. Following a further delay, all participants — including the controls — attempt to identify the culprit in either a culprit-present or culprit-absent video line-up, to replicate circumstances in which the police have located the correct culprit, or an innocent suspect. Data of control and participant-witness line-up outcomes are presented, demonstrating the positive influence of holistic composite construction on identification accuracy. Correlational analyses are conducted to measure the relationship between assessor and participant-witness composite-culprit similarity ratings, delay, identification accuracy, and confidence to examine which factors influence video line-up outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Eyewitness identification, repeated identification, holistic, facial configurations, facial features, video line-up, facial composite, memory, autobiographical memory, episodic memory, eyewitness testimony, genetic algorithm
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Applied Psychology Research Group
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2019 13:44

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