Forensic Psychology

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Current Research

Eyewitness Testimony

Research has been carried out to study the effects of co-witness discussion on eyewitness memory. Psychological research on eyewitness memory has focused on the effects of misleading media reports and questions, however very little research has examined discussion between co-witnesses. Whereas the legal system assumes that testimonies given by eyewitnesses should be independent of one another , this is frequently not the case. Research has shown that witnesses often do talk about the event with each other (Paterson & Kemp, 2002). Because eyewitness information is frequently conveyed from one witness to another, it is important to ascertain the effects of co-witness information on the validity of eyewitness testimony

For more information, please contact Richard Kemp.

Eyewitness Identification

Much of Richard Kemp's recent research has focused on issues relating to identification evidence. Richard has investigated the impact of changes in identification procedure on witness performance and has been involved in an evaluation of an innovative video-based identification procedure. In 1997 Richard reported a major investigation into the effectiveness of photo credit cards. This research showed that photo-ID might not provide the level of fraud protection that is often assumed. The research attracted considerable attention from the media, government agencies and industry.

In 1999 images created by Richard to investigate the role of colour information in face recognition, were included as part of an exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Another research interest is in the interviewing of witnesses and the use of the cognitive interview to obtain person descriptions. Richard acted as an adviser for the production of video based interview training materials produced by the Metropolitan Police in London.

Other projects include research into identification from closed circuit television images, and an evaluation of the use of "facial mapping" techniques to compare facial images. In addition to academic audiences, Richard has presented his work to police, government agencies and industry.

Since his arrival in Australia in 2001 Richard has been continuing his research in facial identification, and has been invited to present his research to several bodies including the New South Wales Police and The New South Wales Crime Commission.

For more information, please contact Richard Kemp.

Facial Composites

Another major focus of Richard Kemp's research has been the use of facial composites in criminal investigations. Facial composite systems, such as E-Fit or Photofit are used by the police to help witnesses produce a likeness of the perpetrator. Research conducted by Richard and other members of his research group have demonstrated that these systems can be used to produce high quality images. Richard is currently investigating the cross-race effect in facial composite construction.

For some examples of composites that you might recognise, please click here.

For more information, please contact Richard Kemp.

Relevant Links

David Willshire's Forensic Psychology and Psychiatry Links
Gary Well's Website

Nicky Brace's Website
Graham Pike's Website
Australasian Centre for Policing Research
Face Recognition
Elizabeth Loftus
European Association of Psychology and Law
SARMAC Website
Australian Psychological Society Homepage
American Psychology-Law Society
John Turtle's Homepage

In Profile

Ethics and Sona Resources

Please follow the links below for more information and resources on the Research Participation program for staff and graduate students. You should save each document to your network drive (z: drive) and edit it from there to avoid losing changes.