University of Twente Student Theses


Identification accuracy of facial composites drawn by citizens

Schmilgus, E. (2021) Identification accuracy of facial composites drawn by citizens.

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Abstract:Citizens can support the police in finding and identifying a perpetrator by creating facial composites of the perpetrator. However, the success of facial composites created by compiling systems are debated until now. Can drawing a facial composite be included as a task in the Do It Yourself Policing program which includes citizens into tasks usually exclusively done by the police? Consequently, the aim of this study is to examine to what extent citizens can draw facial composites which can be used to find and identify a perpetrator. Furthermore, several studies have provided evidence for mood effects on decision making. Therefore, the effect of happy and sad mood conditions on decision accuracy was investigated. To test the hypotheses that the identification accuracy for drawn facial composites will be lower than 20% and that happy mood choices will score more accurately than sad mood choices, an online questionnaire was compiled. The online questionnaire started with a mood induction where half of the participants received the happy condition and the other half the sad condition. The mood induction was followed by an identification task consisting of a facial composite drawn by volunteers and a lineup of possible suspects including the person drawn in the facial composite. The results showed an identification accuracy of 10.4% and no effect of mood on identification accuracy. The results showed that drawn facial composites are generally not suited for police investigations since drawing facial composites that can be used in investigations requires a certain level of drawing skills. Future research should primarily focus on the required drawing skills and the further examining of mood effects like mood congruence.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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