The effect of facial composite construction on eyewitness identification accuracy in an ecologically valid paradigm.

Graham E. Pike, Nicola A. Brace, Jim Turner, A. Vredeveldt

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Previous research has produced equivocal results with regard to whether facial composite creation affects subsequent eyewitness identification accuracy, but the most widely publicized view is that creating a composite impairs the ability to later recognize the perpetrator from a line-up. In our first experiment, we examined this effect using several ecologically valid elements including a live staged crime, trained police officers, and a long delay between construction and identification, albeit with only a short delay between crime and composite construction. Composite construction did not significantly affect line-up identification accuracy. Experiment 2 replicated this result using a laboratory-based design and sequential line-up task, eliminating the possibly confounding effect of differential levels of motivation and relative judgments. Taken together, the experiments suggest composite creation may not negatively impact subsequent line-up accuracy, regardless of whether an ecologically valid method or more standard laboratory testing was used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-336
Number of pages18
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Volume46
Issue number2
Early online date8 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

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