Contextual information renders experts vulnerable to making erroneous identifications

Dror, Itiel E., Charlton, David and Péron, Alisa E. (2006) Contextual information renders experts vulnerable to making erroneous identifications. Forensic Science International, 156, (1), 74-78. (doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2005.10.017).


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We investigated whether experts can objectively focus on feature information in fingerprints without being misled by extraneous information, such as context. We took fingerprints that have previously been examined and assessed by latent print experts to make positive identification of suspects. Then we presented these same fingerprints again, to the same experts, but gave a context that suggested that they were a no-match, and hence the suspects could not be identified. Within this new context, most of the fingerprint experts made different judgements, thus contradicting their own previous identification decisions. Cognitive aspects involved in biometric identification can explain why experts are vulnerable to make erroneous identifications.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2005.10.017
ISSNs: 0379-0738 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: psychology, cognition, erroneous identification, bias, extraneous information, contextual influence, fingerprints
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology > Division of Cognition
ePrint ID: 27807
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:52

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