Producing facial composite sketches in remote cognitive interviews:a preliminary investigation


Justice systems around the world are increasingly turning to videoconferencing as a means to reduce delays and reduce costs in legal processes. This preliminary research examined whether interviewing a witness remotely - without physical co-presence of the witness and interviewer - could facilitate the production of quality facial composite sketches of suspects. In Study 1, 42 adults briefly viewed a photograph of a face. The next day they participated in Cognitive Interviews with a forensic artist, conducted either face-to-face or remotely via videoconference. In Study 2, 20 adults participated in videoconferenced interviews, and we manipulated the method by which they viewed the developing sketch. In both studies, independent groups of volunteers rated the likeness of the composites to the original photographs. The data suggest that remote interviews elicited effective composites; however, in Study 1 these composites were considered poorer matches to the photographs than were those produced in face-to-face interviews. The differences were small, but significant. Participants perceived several disadvantages to remote interviewing, but also several advantages including less pressure and better concentration. The results of Study 2 suggested that different sketch presentation methods offered different benefits. We propose that remote interviewing could be a useful tool for investigators in certain circumstances.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology, Crime & Law on 7/5/13, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: cognitive Interviewing,eyewitness memory,face composite,sketch artist,video-mediated communication,Law,Pathology and Forensic Medicine,Psychology(all)
Publication ISSN: 1477-2744
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2024 08:05
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 14:25
Full Text Link: http://www.tand ... 16X.2013.793339
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2014
Published Online Date: 2013-05-07
Authors: Kuivaniemi-Smith, Heidi J.
Nash, Robert A. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-2284-2001)
Brodie, Eleanor R.
Mahoney, Gregory
Rynn, Christopher



Version: Accepted Version

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