Effects of distance on face recognition: implications for eyewitness identification
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Eyewitnesses sometimes view faces from a distance, but little research has examined the accuracy of witnesses as a function of distance. The purpose to the present project is to examine the relationship between identification accuracy and distance under carefully controlled conditions. This is one of the first studies to examine the ability to recognize faces of strangers at a distance under free-field conditions. Participants viewed eight live human targets, displayed at one of six outdoor distances that varied between 5 and 40 yards. Participants were shown 16 photographs, 8 of the previously viewed targets and 8 of nonviewed foils that matched a verbal description of the target counterpart. Participants rated their confidence of having seen or not having seen each individual on an 8-point scale. Long distances were associated with poor recognition memory and response bias shifts.
- Burton, A. M., Bruce, V., & Hancock, P. J. (1999). From pixels to people: A model of familiar face recognition. Cognitive Science, 23(1), 1–31. CrossRef
- Glanzer, M., & Adams, J. K. (1985). The mirror effect in recognition memory. Memory & Cognition, 13, 8–20. CrossRef
- Goffaux, V., Hault, B., Michel, C., Vuong, Q. C., & Rossion, B. (2005). The respective role of low and high spatial frequencies in supporting configural and featural processing of faces. Perception, 34, 77–86. CrossRef
- Green, D. M., & Swets, J. A. (1966). Signal detection theory and psychophysics (Vol. 1). New York: Wiley.
- Innocence Project. (2012). The Innocence Project. Retrieved from http://www.innocenceproject.org
- Jacoby, L. L. (1991). A process dissociation framework: Separating automatic from intentional uses of memory. Journal of Memory and Language, 30, 497–514. CrossRef
- Jong, M. D., Wagenaar, W. A., Wolters, G., & Verstijnen, I. M. (2005). Familiar face recognition as a function of distance and illumination: A practical tool for use in the courtroom. Psychology, Crime & Law, 11(1), 87–97. CrossRef
- Lampinen, J. M., Neuschatz, J. S., & Cling, A. (2012). The psychology of eyewitness identification. New York: Psychology Press.
- Lindsay, R. C. L., Semmler, C., Weber, N., Brewer, N., & Lindsay, M. R. (2008). How variations in distance affect eyewitness reports and identification accuracy. Law and Human Behavior, 32, 526–535. CrossRef
- Loftus, G. R. (1985). Picture perception: Effects of luminance on available information and information-extraction rate. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 114, 342–356. CrossRef
- Loftus, G. R., & Harley, E. M. (2005). Why is it easier to identify someone closer than far away? Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 12, 43–65. CrossRef
- Macmillan, N. A., & Creelman, C. D. (1991). Detection theory: A user's guide. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- O’Toole, A. J., Abdi, H. H., Deffenbacher, K. A., & Valentin, D. D. (1993). Low-dimensional representation of faces in higher dimensions of the face space. Journal of the Optical Society of America A. Optics and Image Science, 10(3), 405–411. CrossRef
- Pound, R. (1908). Common law and legislation. Harvard Law Review, 21(6), 383–407. CrossRef
- Rajaram, S. (1993). Remembering and knowing: Two means of access to the personal past. Memory and Cognition, 21, 89–102.
- Rajaram, S. (1996). Perceptual effects on remembering: Recollective processes in picture recognition memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 22, 365–377.
- Rajaram, S. (1998). The effects of conceptual salience and perceptualdistinctiveness on conscious recollection. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 5, 71–78. CrossRef
- Slater, A. (1994). Identification parades: A scientific evaluation. Police Research Award Scheme. London: Police Research Group, Home Office.
- Turk, M., & Pentland, A. (1991). Eigenfaces for recognition. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 3(1), 71–86. CrossRef
- Valentine, T. (2001). Face-space models of face recognition. In Computational, geometric, and process perspectives on facial cognition: Contexts and challenges (pp. 83-113).
- Valentine, T., Pickering, A., & Darling, S. (2003). Characteristics of eyewitness identification that predict the outcome of real lineups. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 17, 969–993. CrossRef
- Wagenaar, W. A., & Van der Schrier, J. H. (1996). Face recognition as a function of distance and illumination: A practical tool for use in the courtroom. Psychology, Crime & Law, 2, 2321–2332. CrossRef
- Wells, G. L., Small, M., Penrod, S., Malpass, R. S., Fulero, S. M., & Brimacombe, C. E. (1998). Eyewitness identification procedures: Recommendations for lineups and photospreads. Law and Human Behavior, 22(6), 603. CrossRef
- Wells, G. L., Steblay, N. K., & Dysart, J. E. (2011). A test of simultaneous vs. sequential lineup methods. Des Moines, IA: American Judicature Society.
- Wright, D. B., & McDaid, A. T. (1996). Comparing system and estimator variables using data from real line-ups. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 10, 75–84. CrossRef
- Yonelinas, A. P. (1994). Receiver-operating characteristics in recognition memory: Evidence for a dual-process model. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 20, 1341–1354.
- Yonelinas, A. P. (2001). Consciousness, control and confidence: The 3 Cs of recognition memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 130, 361–379. CrossRef
- Effects of distance on face recognition: implications for eyewitness identification
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Volume 21, Issue 6 , pp 1489-1494
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Eyewitness memory
- Face perception
- Face perception and recognition
- Face recognition
- Industry Sectors