Statistical feature training improves fingerprint-matching accuracy in novices and professional fingerprint examiners (2022)
Type of ContentJournal Article
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
- Science: Journal Articles 
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Forensic science practitioners compare visual evidence samples (e.g. fingerprints) and decide if they originate from the same person or different people (i.e. fingerprint ‘matching’). These tasks are perceptually and cognitively complex—even practising professionals can make errors—and what limited research exists suggests that existing professional training is ineffective. This paper presents three experiments that demonstrate the benefit of perceptual training derived from mathematical theories that suggest statistically rare features have diagnostic utility in visual comparison tasks. Across three studies (<jats:italic>N</jats:italic> = 551), we demonstrate that a brief module training participants to focus on statistically rare fingerprint features improves fingerprint-matching performance in both novices and experienced fingerprint examiners. These results have applied importance for improving the professional performance of practising fingerprint examiners, and even other domains where this technique may also be helpful (e.g. radiology or banknote security).</jats:p>
CitationGrowns B, Towler A, Dunn JD, Salerno JM, Schweitzer NJ, Dror IE (2022). Statistical feature training improves fingerprint-matching accuracy in novices and professional fingerprint examiners. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. 7(1).
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KeywordsTraining; Forensic science; Perceptual expertise; Face matching; Fingerprint matching; Expertise
ANZSRC Fields of Research52 - Psychology::5204 - Cognitive and computational psychology::520406 - Sensory processes, perception and performance
39 - Education::3903 - Education systems::390305 - Professional education and training
39 - Education::3901 - Curriculum and pedagogy::390102 - Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
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