Presentation Title

When a perpetrator wears a disguise: memory for disguised faces

Faculty Mentor

Iris Blandón-Gitlin

Start Date

17-11-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 5:00 PM

Location

CREVELING 26

Session

POSTER 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Imagine witnessing a crime committed by someone wearing a disguise. You give a poor description of the perpetrator except for global features (e.g., sex, race, build). Later the police apprehend someone and bring you to the station to see if you recognize the suspect. They show you a photographic lineup of six people wearing no disguise. Intuitively this seems like a difficult task. Surprisingly there is little research on exactly how difficult these identifications are. The current research includes two studies. Study-1 consisted of surveying potential witnesses to determine how difficult people perceive this task to be. Study-2 consisted of experimentally manipulating two variables. At the time of an event, witnesses saw disguised or undisguised targets. At the time of a recognition test, witnesses made identifications from disguised or undisguised six-person photographic lineups. The results of Study-1 show that of 400 potential witness-participants surveyed, the majority (53%) said they believe they would not be able to recognize a disguised target in an undisguised-person lineup. Study-2’s results reveal that witnesses do show a significant reduction in accuracy when identifying a previously seen disguised target if the lineup is of undisguised persons as opposed to a disguised lineup. These results confirm our hypotheses and suggest that in real-world settings investigators should consider calibrating their lineup procedures to create lineups that reduce the difficulty in making identifications.

Summary of research results to be presented

The results of Study-1 show that of 400 potential witness-participants surveyed, the majority (53%) said they believe they would not be able to recognize a disguised target in an undisguised-person lineup. Also, 47% thought they would be able to accurately identify the disguised target if shown a lineup of disguised persons. Study-2’s results reveal that witnesses do show a significant reduction in accuracy when identifying a previously seen disguised target if the lineup is of undisguised persons as opposed to a disguised lineup.

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Nov 17th, 3:00 PM Nov 17th, 5:00 PM

When a perpetrator wears a disguise: memory for disguised faces

CREVELING 26

Imagine witnessing a crime committed by someone wearing a disguise. You give a poor description of the perpetrator except for global features (e.g., sex, race, build). Later the police apprehend someone and bring you to the station to see if you recognize the suspect. They show you a photographic lineup of six people wearing no disguise. Intuitively this seems like a difficult task. Surprisingly there is little research on exactly how difficult these identifications are. The current research includes two studies. Study-1 consisted of surveying potential witnesses to determine how difficult people perceive this task to be. Study-2 consisted of experimentally manipulating two variables. At the time of an event, witnesses saw disguised or undisguised targets. At the time of a recognition test, witnesses made identifications from disguised or undisguised six-person photographic lineups. The results of Study-1 show that of 400 potential witness-participants surveyed, the majority (53%) said they believe they would not be able to recognize a disguised target in an undisguised-person lineup. Study-2’s results reveal that witnesses do show a significant reduction in accuracy when identifying a previously seen disguised target if the lineup is of undisguised persons as opposed to a disguised lineup. These results confirm our hypotheses and suggest that in real-world settings investigators should consider calibrating their lineup procedures to create lineups that reduce the difficulty in making identifications.