The advantage of low and medium attractiveness for facial composite production from modern forensic systems
AuthorsRichardson, Beth H.
Marsh, John E.
Taylor, Sarah Ashley
Frowd, Charlie D.
AffiliationUniversity of Leeds
University of the West of England
University of Bedfordshire
University of Manchester
University of Central Lancashire
University of Winchester
Luleå University of Technology
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractRecognition following long delays is superior for highly attractive and highly unattractive faces (cf. medium-attractive faces). In the current work, we investigated participants’ ability to recreate from memory faces of low, medium, and high physical attractiveness. In Experiment 1, participants constructed composites of familiar (celebrity) faces using the holistic EvoFIT system. When controlling for other variables that may influence face recognition (memorability, familiarity, likeability, and age), correct naming and ratings of likeness were superior for composites of low attractiveness targets. Experiment 2 replicated this design using the feature-based PRO-fit system, revealing superiority (by composite naming and ratings of likeness) for medium attractiveness. In Experiment 3, participants constructed composites of unfamiliar faces after a forensically relevant delay of 1 day. Using ratings of likeness as a measure of composite effectiveness, these same effects were observed for EvoFIT and PRO-fit. The work demonstrates the importance of attractiveness for method of composite face construction.
CitationRichardson BH, Brown C, Heard P, Pitchford M, Portch E, Lander K, Marsh JE, Bell R, Fodarella C, Taylor SA, Worthington M, Ellison L, Charters P, Green D, Minahil S, Frowd CD (2020) 'The advantage of low and medium attractiveness for facial composite production from modern forensic systems', Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 9 (3), pp.381-395.