Making A Case : Interviewing Witness's - Recognizing faces ( Bruce )

Why is face recognisition a differnt process for familar and unfamiliar ? If a face is familiar, we can recognise it even when an image is degraded or even if it is just a partial image. 

  • Evidence : Vicky Bruce ( 2007 ) Facial recognisiton 

Recognizing Faces - Bruce ( 2007 )

Familiar faces recogniesed by their internal features ( eyes, nose , mouth ) and unfamiliar faces by external features ( hair line , head shape ) ,

Vicky Bruce ( 2007 ), applied this knowledge to  a witness's facial recognition in creating composite pictures following a crime. she used celebrity faces to test wheather intenral or external features were the most important. Her control was to show the whole face. 

  • Results / Findings : She found that external features alone were as good as whole faces in recognising celebrities. 

In forsensic psychology we are usually trying to recognise strangers in E-fits, so the external features are critical. 

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