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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Four heads are better than one: combining face composites yields improvements in face likeness
Author(s): Bruce, Vicki
Ness, Hayley
Hancock, Peter J B
Newman, Craig
Rarity, Jenny
Keywords: Face perception
Face Physiology
Issue Date: Oct-2002
Date Deposited: 19-Apr-2007
Citation: Bruce V, Ness H, Hancock PJB, Newman C & Rarity J (2002) Four heads are better than one: combining face composites yields improvements in face likeness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87 (5), pp. 894-902.
Abstract: Four different participants constructed face composites, using “PRO-Fit”, of familiar and unfamiliar targets, with reference images present or from memory. The "mean" of all four composites, created by morphing (4-Morph) was rated as a better likeness than individual composites on average, and was as good as the best individual likeness. When participants attempted to identify targets from line-ups, 4-Morphs again performed as well as the best individual composite. In a second experiment participants familiar with target women attempted to identify composites, and the trend showed better recognition from multiple composites, whether combined or shown together. In a line-up task with unfamiliar participants, 4-Morphs produced most correct choices, and fewest false positives from target absent or target present arrays. These results have practical implications for the way evidence from different witnesses is used in police investigations.
DOI Link: 10.1037/0021-9010.87.5.894
Rights: Published in Journal of Applied Psychology. Copyright 2002 by APA American Psychological Association. Publisher version available from

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