Exploring composite production and its effects on eyewitness memory

Lisa Dawn Topp, University of Texas at El Paso


The current study examined the effects of composite construction on eyewitness identification accuracy, and whether repeated viewing of a composite leads to subsequent identification errors. Participants were 180 undergraduate students. In the first session, participants viewed a target for 60 sec.; half were randomly assigned to construct a composite of the target face and the other half completed a filler task for the remainder of the session. During a one week delay, participants viewed a composite once, twice, or not at all and then returned for an identification test. The identification task consisted of a 6-person photoarray, including the target, the composite and four morphs intermediate to the target and the composite. Those who created and/or viewed a composite had lower identification accuracy than those who did not. Those who either created or viewed a composite were more likely to show confusion between the target and composite.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Experimental|Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

Topp, Lisa Dawn, "Exploring composite production and its effects on eyewitness memory" (2006). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1439491.