An evaluation of morphed composites constructed in a criminal investigation
Frowd, C.D., Bruce, V., Storås, K., Spick, P., Hancock, P.J.B. (2006). An evaluation of morphed composites constructed in a criminal investigation. In: 16th Conference of the European Association of Psychology and Law.
Facial composites are pictures of criminal faces normally produced from witnesses and victims of serious crime. Unfortunately, in spite of enhancements made to improve their quality, composites remain quite hard to recognise. Recent research has suggested however that a better representation of a target face can be obtained by constructing more than one composite of a face and then combining the individual attempts into a single morphed image. In the current work, we explore whether this morphing technique would generalise to composites constructed in a criminal investigation. To do this, three composites of an assailant produced by a single witness were morphed together and then evaluated. The result of four experiments suggested that the quality of the morphed image tended to be at least as good as the best individual composite, and in one task, that of similarity ratings with the hair occluded, the morph was superior. The data therefore provide further support for the suggestion that morphing would be a good procedure to use in a police investigation.
Brace, N., Pike, G., & Kemp, R. (2000). Investigating E-FIT using famous faces. In A. Czerederecka, T. Jaskiewicz-Obydzinska & J. Wojcikiewicz (Eds.), Forensic psychology and law (pp. 272-276). Krakow: Institute of Forensic Research Publishers.
Bruce, V., Ness, H., Hancock, P.J.B, Newman, C., & Rarity, J. (2002). Four heads are better than one: Combining face composites yields improvements in face likeness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 894-902.
Davies, G.M. (1983). Forensic face recall: the role of visual and verbal information. In S.M.A. Lloyd-Bostock and B.R. Clifford (Eds.). Evaluating witness evidence (pp. 103-123). John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Davies, G.M., Shepherd, J., Shepherd, J., Flin, R., & Ellis, H.D. (1986). Training skills in police photofit operators, Policing, 2, 35-46.
Davies, G.M., van der Willik, P., & Morrison, L.J. (2000). Facial Composite Production: A Comparison of Mechanical and Computer-Driven Systems. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85, 119-124.
de Haan, E. H., & Hay, D. (1986). The matching of famous and unknown faces, given either the internal or external features: A study on patients with unilateral brain lesions. In H. D. Ellis, F. Jeeves, F. Newcombe & A. W. Young (Eds.), Aspects of face processing (pp. 302-309). Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff.
Ellis, H.D., Shepherd, J.W., & Davies, G.M. (1979). Identification of familiar and unfamiliar faces from internal and external features: some implications for theories of face recognition, Perception, 8, 431-439.
Frowd, C.D., Bruce, V., McIntyre, A. & Hancock, P.J.B. (in press). The relative importance of external and internal features of facial composites. British Journal of Psychology.
Frowd, C.D., Bruce, V., Ness, H., Thomson-Bogner, C., Peterson, J., Mcintyre, A. & Hancock, P.J.B. Parallel approaches to composite production. Submitted to Ergonomics.
Frowd, C.D., Bruce, V., Ross, D., McIntyre, A. & Hancock, P.J.B. (under revision). An application of caricature: how to improve the recognition of facial composites. Visual Cognition.
Frowd, C.D., Carson, D., Ness, H., McQuiston, D., Richardson, J., Baldwin, H., & Hancock, P.J.B. (2005a). Contemporary Composite Techniques: the impact of a forensically-relevant target delay. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 10, 63-81.
Frowd, C.D., Carson, D., Ness, H., Richardson, J., Morrison, L., McLanaghan, S. & Hancock, P.J.B. (2005b). A forensically valid comparison of facial composite systems. Psychology, Crime and Law, 11, 33-52.
Frowd, C.D., Hancock, P.J.B., & Carson, D. (2004). EvoFIT: A holistic, evolutionary facial imaging technique for creating composites. ACM Transactions on Applied Psychology (TAP), 1, 1-21.
Frowd, C.D., McQuiston-Surrett, D., Kirkland, I. & Hancock, P.J.B. (2005c). The process of facial composite production. In A. Czerederecka, T. Jaskiewicz-Obydzinska, R. Roesch & J. Wojcikiewicz (Eds.). Forensic Psychology and Law (pp. 140-152). Krakow: Institute of Forensic Research Publishers.
Geiselman, R.E., Fisher, R.P., MacKinnon, D.P. & Holland, H.L. (1986). Eyewitness memory enhancement with the cognitive interview. American Journal of Psychology, 99, 385-401.
Koehn, C.E., & Fisher R.P. (1997). Constructing facial composites with the Mac-a-Mug Pro system. Psychology, Crime & Law, 3, 215-224.
Kovera, M.B., Penrod, S.D., Pappas, C., & Thill, D.L. (1997). Identification of computer generated facial composites, Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 235-246.
Laughery, K., & Fowler, R. (1980). Sketch artist and identikit procedures for generating facial images, Journal of Applied Psychology, 65, 307-316.
Malpass, R.S., Lavigueur, H., & Weldon, D. (1981) Guided memory in eyewitness identification, Journal of Applied Psychology, 66, 343-350.
Ness, H. (2003). Improving facial composites produced by eyewitnesses. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Stirling.
Shepherd, J., & Ellis, H.D. (1996). Face recall - methods and problems. In S.L. Sporer, R.S. Malpass & G. Koehnken (Eds.), Psychological issues in eyewitness identification (pp. 87-115). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Young, A.W., Hay, D.C., McWeeny, K.H., Flude, B.M. & Ellis, A.W. (1985). Matching familiar and unfamiliar faces on internal and external features, Perception, 14, 737-746.