The reproducibility of facial approximation accuracy results generated from photo-spread tests

Stephan, Carl N. and Cicolini, Jody (2010) The reproducibility of facial approximation accuracy results generated from photo-spread tests. Forensic Science International, 201 1-3: 133-137. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2010.02.028

Author Stephan, Carl N.
Cicolini, Jody
Title The reproducibility of facial approximation accuracy results generated from photo-spread tests
Journal name Forensic Science International   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0379-0738
Publication date 2010-09-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.forsciint.2010.02.028
Open Access Status
Volume 201
Issue 1-3
Start page 133
End page 137
Total pages 5
Editor Guy Willems
John Clement
David Sweet O.C.
Place of publication Shannon, Co. Clare Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Language eng
Abstract The accuracies of facial approximations have been measured by determining the frequency that examiners recognize correctly matching faces from photo-spreads under blind conditions. However, the reliability of these studies is unknown and warrants investigation since photo-spread results are based on subjective judgements of typically small single groups of examiners (<150 individuals). Moreover, statistical significance tests hold limited value for gauging reliability since these probabilities are only applicable to exactly matched study samples. To redress this issue, this study measured the repeatability of photo-spread results using three previously published facial approximations, the same photo-spread from the original study, and four independent groups of examiners (the original study group (trial 1); and three retest groups: trial 2=c. 40 individuals; trial 3=c. 75 individuals; and trial 4=c. 115 individuals). Across all three facial approximations, differences in recognition rates varied from 0% to 31% between independent samples of examiners. For the nine faces that commonly received high recognition scores, the largest mean difference was 18%. This indicates that when a photo-spread size of 10 faces is used, the results generated from a sample of <115 examiners should be considered approximate, and that any differences in the recognition rates that do not exceed 18% should be considered to be negligible. © 2010.
Keyword Forensic science
Facial reconstruction
Facial reproduction
Face array
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Issue 'Meeting of the International Organization of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology' Edited by Guy Willems, John Clement and David Sweet O.C.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 22 Aug 2010, 10:08:19 EST