Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Interviewing techniques for Darwinian facial-composite systems.

Frowd, Charlie D; Nelson, Laura; Skelton, Faye C; Noyce, Rosie; Atkins, Rebecca; Heard, Priscilla; Morgan, David; Fields, Steve; Henry, Joanne; McIntyre, Alex H; Hancock, Peter J B


Charlie D Frowd

Laura Nelson

Rosie Noyce

Rebecca Atkins

Priscilla Heard

David Morgan

Steve Fields

Joanne Henry

Peter J B Hancock


Eyewitnesses are often asked to describe the appearance of an offender’s face, normally as part of a cognitive interview (CI), and then to construct a facial composite of it by selecting hair, eyes, nose, etc. Recent research indicates that facial composites of this type are rendered much-more identifiable when constructors focus on global character (holistic) judgements of the face after having recalled it in detail. Here, we investigated whether components of this so-called ‘holistic’ CI (H-CI) were applicable to newer ‘evolving’ (Darwinian) methods of face construction. We found that the face description component of the interview promoted better-quality composites than the holistic component, but the most-identifiable composites emerged when both components were used together in the same interview as an H-CI. Composites were also more identifiable following description of all features of the face than an alternative involving description of hair. Implications are discussed for real-world face-construction using evolving systems.


Frowd, C. D., Nelson, L., Skelton, F. C., Noyce, R., Atkins, R., Heard, P., …Hancock, P. J. B. (2012). Interviewing techniques for Darwinian facial-composite systems. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26, 576-584.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2012
Deposit Date Jun 10, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 10, 2015
Print ISSN 0888-4080
Electronic ISSN 1099-0720
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Pages 576-584
Keywords facial composite; holistic cognitive interview; evolve; witness; EvoFIT;
Public URL
Publisher URL