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12 March 2009

Making Faces: The psychology of witness computer interaction 

Location: Meeting Room 10, 2nd Floor, JLB
Time: 12:30pm - 13:45pm
Speaker(s): Dr Graham Pike, Social Sciences Department

Police investigations offer a fairly unique challenge for both psychologists and software designers. This is particularly true when it comes to obtaining information from witnesses, as human memory tends to be error prone and reconstructive in nature. Obtaining information from witnesses about the facial appearance of the perpetrator is even more challenging given how faces are recognised and our poor language skills when it comes to describing a face. My presentation will focus on my own research that has explored witness cognition and how software can be designed to elicit information from an eyewitness. Bio: My background is in psychology and criminology. For some time my research has taken an applied cognitive approach to various aspects of visual biometrics and police investigations, with a particular emphasis on designing technology, practice and legislation to make the most of eyewitness testimony. This has included Home Office and police funded projects to design, test and evaluate video identification parades (as a replacement for traditional lineups) which resulted in changes to national legislation and the widespread implementation of the VIPER system. Since the early nineties I have also worked closely with various software companies and policing organisations in developing facial compositing systems (such as E-FIT). Following an EPSRC funded project, this research recently culminated in the development and production of a next-generation compositing system called EFIT-V, which is now being used by several police services. I have been at the OU since 2000 and, in addition to various posts such as Associate Dean and Head of Department, have led several innovative curriculum (in forensic psychology and criminology) and pedagogic developments (such as our first entirely online project course in 2002)

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Contact: mailto:r.power@open.ac.uk