Article: article from journal or magazin.
Cognitive Issues in Fingerprint Analysis: Inter- and Intra-Expert Consistency and the Effect of a "Target" Comparison
Forensic Science International
Deciding whether two fingerprint marks originate from the same source requires examination and comparison of their features. Many cognitive factors play a major role in such information processing. In this paper we examined the consistency (both between- and within-experts) in the analysis of latent marks, and whether the presence of a 'target' comparison print affects this analysis. Our findings showed that the context of a comparison print affected analysis of the latent mark, possibly influencing allocation of attention, visual search, and threshold for determining a 'signal'. We also found that even without the context of the comparison print there was still a lack of consistency in analysing latent marks. Not only was this reflected by inconsistency between different experts, but the same experts at different times were inconsistent with their own analysis. However, the characterization of these inconsistencies depends on the standard and definition of what constitutes inconsistent. Furthermore, these effects were not uniform; the lack of consistency varied across fingerprints and experts. We propose solutions to mediate variability in the analysis of friction ridge skin.
Latent fingerprinting, Human cognition, Fingerprint analysis
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