Face recognition Much of EWT is based upon face identification. For example using photographs or line up's to identify someone they may have only seen in a poor amount of light. There are many different reasons or influences which can change someone's perception or opinion of there perception of what they saw. Face recognition is an example of object recognition. We were asked to discus the issues raised when it comes to face recognition on EWT some things to consider when raising these issues are listed below. Template theory We have a range of different templates which recognise certain shapes and permit identification.
But for this system to work we would have to have a large number of templates. NEISSER (1964) found that people taking part in his query took longer to search for 'not Q' than 'Q' in the list of letters. If they had been using a template both of the searches should have taken the same amount of time. Evaluation of this theory this contradicts the template theory so there for it is not conclusive in my opinion I agree with NEISSER it should have taken the same amount of time. When it comes to EWT this could have a big impact, on whether they are able to remember one thing more than another or claim they do.
There are more things to remember in a dramatic situation and they have stress and perhaps a weapon to deal with at the same time, i. e. weapon focus. All these issues must be taken into account. Feature detection We look for certain features of an object for example when we search for the letter A in a list of letters we apparently search for straight lines. It is there for easier to find an A than and O.
NEISSER (1964) also found that visual searches were longer if for example a D was embed in a group of letters with similar features. Evaluation The process of face recognition differs from object recognition in a major way. DE RENZI (1986) studied one patient and found that he was good at recognising his own handwriting as different as someone else's. But was unable to recognise relatives by sight although he could recognise there voices. Studies similar to these and on people who are brain damaged show that perhaps face recognition and object recognition are from different storage areas. This suggests that in some cases maybe one area is more important than others or perhaps people are better at recognising one area to another, or that one are can influence another.
Recognising configuration People may recognise individual features but the over all arrangement is more important. YOUNG (1987) combined the top half of a well known famous persons face with the bottom half of another famous person's face, he aligned them as closely as possible. People tended to find this harder to recognise both celebrities, the reason for this being they had combined to make a new configuration which interfered with face recognition. Evaluation People tend to disguise themselves and erase all distinguishing features which make them more inconspicuous. There for they can sometimes get muddled with the true identity of the criminal.
Faces in motion identikit pictures are motionless where as face knowledge is in motion, this for example shows emotional status. BRUCE AND VALENTINE (1988) showed a group of people faces in motion only rather than use facial features; he did the filming by shinning a light on the face and filming in the dark. The participants in the group were able to identify facial expressions. Sometimes, they could identify the person based upon movement only. Evaluation This suggests as most crimes committed are in motion that the people involved may again not see what they claim to see or think they saw something.
Unfamiliar faces In EWT again people are asked to recognise people's faces that they have not seen before, this is much harder to do than recognise and describe a familiar face. For example BAHR IK (1975) did a survey and proved that people en 35 years later could still recognise there class mates from a school photograph. But this is different from recognising someone you don't know. Evaluation therefore when it comes to recognising someone you may associate them with some one you know and tend to lean towards them, and perhaps bend what you first thought they looked like into something else.
A theory evaluation concluded by BRUCE AND YOUNG (1986) proposed a model for face recognition that suggested that there are two DIFFERENT mechanisms for unfamiliar and familiar face recognition, a distinction supported by the study on brain damaged patients. The recognition of unfamiliar faces probably involves feature detection where as familiar face recognition involves recognition of configuration. My evaluation We have seen that emotions enhance recall-flashbulb memory or suppress it- repressed memories. LOFTS (1979) were called as an expert witness on the psychology of memory in a trial where a shop assistant, Melville had an identified a robber JOSE GARCIA.
One of the points he made in relation to memory research was about the effect on recall especially short term memory. Therefore I conclude that when it comes to EWT those perpetrators that are found guilty may no be if based upon a witness alone. The people that give the account on witnessing an event may have had the actual event muddled in there head. There are many issues as told above that can influence your actual recognition and the one that you come up with.
Based upon how emotional you are at the time of the event or how dramatic it is, how much you recognise the person or even weapon recognition which can prevent you from seeing all of the factors of the scene which you may claim to o seen. People also tend to hold grudges on people they may think to be guilty or perhaps have similarities of those that are actually guilty. They may even change here opinion on what the perpetrator looks like due to the desperation of finding someone. Something that sounds the same or looks the same as them may set off a neural mechanism in there brain and automatically they are the one who did, when they could be guilty.
It is a good thing our society has changed the penalties of crimes. How could any one live with themselves if they put someone in an electric chair that was innocent. In my final opinion people don't see what is actually there; people see what they want to see!