Timing Is Crucial For Creating Accurate Police Sketches From Eyewitness Descriptions

A witness to a crime has to describe the offender’s face in as much detail as they can before they work with a police expert to create a visual likeness — a “facial composite”, sometimes called a photo-fit, or e-fit. But the way this is typically handled in police stations could be reducing the accuracy of these images, according to a new paper published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. There have been concerns that the process of describing facial features might create a so-called “verbal overshadowing” that interferes with the visual memories of the offender. ….[READ]