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When a crime has been committed and the identity of the perpetrator is unknown, eyewitnesses are often asked to attempt to create a likeness of the face of the perpetrator. An eyewitness can do this by creating a facial composite, either through the assistance of a sketch artist or by using a mechanized composite system. However, facial composites tend to be poor representations of the intended face, even if it is a face that is very familiar to the composite creator. This is probably due to a mismatch between the way in which people encode faces and the way in which they attempt to recall faces when building a composite.

When facial composites were first introduced in the criminal justice system, eyewitnesses would work together with ...

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