Assessing facial approximation accuracy: How do resemblance ratings of disparate faces compare to recognition tests?

Stephan, C. N. and Arthur, R. S. (2006) Assessing facial approximation accuracy: How do resemblance ratings of disparate faces compare to recognition tests?. Forensic Science International, 159 Suppl. 1: S159-S163. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2006.02.026


Author Stephan, C. N.
Arthur, R. S.
Title Assessing facial approximation accuracy: How do resemblance ratings of disparate faces compare to recognition tests?
Journal name Forensic Science International   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0379-0738
1872-6283
Publication date 2006-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.forsciint.2006.02.026
Volume 159
Issue Suppl. 1
Start page S159
End page S163
Total pages 5
Editor P. Saukko
Place of publication Clare, Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject C1
750599 Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
Abstract In the past, the accuracy of facial approximations has been assessed by resemblance ratings (i.e., the comparison of a facial approximation directly to a target individual) and recognition tests (e.g., the comparison of a facial approximation to a photo array of faces including foils and a target individual). Recently, several research studies have indicated that recognition tests hold major strengths in contrast to resemblance ratings. However, resemblance ratings remain popularly employed and/or are given weighting when judging facial approximations, thus indicating that no consensus has been reached. This study aims to further investigate the matter by comparing the results of resemblance ratings and recognition tests for two facial approximations which clearly differed in their morphological appearance. One facial approximation was constructed by an experienced practitioner privy to the appearance of the target individual (practitioner had direct access to an antemortem frontal photograph during face construction), while the other facial approximation was constructed by a novice under blind conditions. Both facial approximations, whilst clearly morphologically different, were given similar resemblance scores even though recognition test results produced vastly different results. One facial approximation was correctly recognized almost without exception while the other was not correctly recognized above chance rates. These results suggest that resemblance ratings are insensitive measures of the accuracy of facial approximations and lend further weight to the use of recognition tests in facial approximation assessment. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Forensic science
Craniofacial identification
Facial reconstruction
Facial reproduction
Face array
Quality assurance
Dexterity
Q-Index Code C1

 
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