Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Are two views better than one? Investigating three-quarter view facial composites
Authors: Ness, Hayley
Hancock, Peter J B
Bowie, Leslie
Bruce, Vicki
Pike, Graham
Contact Email:
Keywords: facial composite
three-quarter view
eyewitness memory
forensic cognition
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Emerald Insight
Citation: Ness H, Hancock PJB, Bowie L, Bruce V & Pike G (2015) Are two views better than one? Investigating three-quarter view facial composites , Journal of Forensic Practice, 17 (4), pp. 291-306.
Abstract: Purpose -The introduction of a new three-quarter-view female database in PROfit has enabled a careful consideration of view effects in facial composite construction. This article formally examines the impact of constructing full-face and three-quarter view composites under different encoding conditions. It also examines three-quarter view composites that have been automatically generated. Finally, this article investigates whether there is an identification benefit for presenting a full-face and three-quarter composite together.  Design/methodology/approach - The paper presents results from three experiments that examine the impact of encoding conditions on composite construction as well as the presentation of composites at the evaluation stage.  Findings - The results revealed that while standard full-face composites perform well when all views of the face have been encoded, care should be taken when a person has only seen one view. When a witness has seen a side view of a suspect, a three-quarter-view composite should be constructed. In addition, it would be beneficial for a witness to construct two composites of a suspect, one in full-face view and one in a three-quarter-view, particularly when the witness has only seen one view.  Research limitations/implications - This is the first study to examine viewpoint in facial composite construction. While a great deal of research has examined viewpoint dependency in face recognition tasks, composite construction is a reconstruction task involving both recall and recognition. The results indicate that there is a viewpoint effect that is similar to that described in the recognition literature. However, more research is needed in this area.  Practical implications - The practical implications of this research are that it is extremely important for facial composite operators in the field (police operators) to know who will make a good likeness of the target. Research such as this which examines real-life issues is incredibly important. This research shows that if a witness has seen all views of a perpetrator's face then standard composite construction using a full-face view will work well. However, if they have only seen a single view then it will not.  Originality/value - No research to date has examined the impact of viewpoint in facial composite construction.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Journal of Forensic Practice (2015), Vol. 17 Iss: 4, pp.291 - 306 by [publisher]. The original publication is available at:
Affiliation: The Open University
Critical Insight
Newcastle University
The Open University

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Are two views better than one.pdf420.67 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.