Research Output
Interviewing techniques for Darwinian facial-composite systems.
  Eyewitnesses are often asked to describe the appearance of an offender’s face, normally as part of a cognitive interview (CI), and then to construct a facial composite of it by selecting hair, eyes, nose, etc. Recent research indicates that facial composites of this type are rendered much-more identifiable when constructors focus on global character (holistic) judgements of the face after having recalled it in detail. Here, we investigated whether components of this so-called ‘holistic’ CI (H-CI) were applicable to newer ‘evolving’ (Darwinian) methods of face construction. We found that the face description component of the interview promoted better-quality composites than the holistic component, but the most-identifiable composites emerged when both components were used together in the same interview as an H-CI. Composites were also more identifiable following description of all features of the face than an alternative involving description of hair. Implications are discussed for real-world face-construction using evolving systems.

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  • Date:

    31 December 2012

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  • Library of Congress:

    BF Psychology

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    158 Applied psychology


Frowd, C. D., Nelson, L., Skelton, F. C., Noyce, R., Atkins, R., Heard, P., …Hancock, P. J. B. (2012). Interviewing techniques for Darwinian facial-composite systems. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26, 576-584.



facial composite; holistic cognitive interview; evolve; witness; EvoFIT;

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