Matching the faces of robbers captured on video
Article first published online: 18 JUL 2001
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Applied Cognitive Psychology
Volume 15, Issue 4, pages 445–464, July 2001
How to Cite
Henderson, Z., Bruce, V. and Burton, A. M. (2001), Matching the faces of robbers captured on video. Appl. Cognit. Psychol., 15: 445–464. doi: 10.1002/acp.718
- Issue published online: 18 JUL 2001
- Article first published online: 18 JUL 2001
- Lomond Productions
Recent research has shown that unfamiliar face matching from both high- and low-quality closed circuit television video images to photographs is highly prone to error, even when viewpoint and expression are matched as closely as possible. The current experiments made use of a filmed, staged reconstruction of a bank raid that was captured on CCTV and on high-quality broadcasting video. Experiment 1 tested the ability of members of the public to match actors captured on CCTV to photo-spreads containing similar-looking distractors. Further experiments, each testing different groups of subjects, investigated matching ability using both high-quality photographs (Experiment 2) and broadcast-quality video material (Experiment 3). Experiment 3 also investigated the effect of disguising hairstyle, and varied whether or not the target was present in the photo line-up. The results of these experiments confirm those of previous work, that matching the identity of unfamiliar faces is highly fallible, even when high-quality footage is used. Experiments 4 and 5 tested matching ability using two-alternative forced-choice and single-item verification tasks. Performance remained highly error-prone even with the simplest question asked. The legal implications of the results are discussed. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.