Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Abducted Children: Conventional Photos Alone Don't Aid The Search

Date:
October 30, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
People's ability to recognize abducted children is impaired when they view a photo of a smiling, clean child, but come into contact with the same child whose appearance is very different because he or she is upset, crying, disheveled or unkempt.

People's ability to recognise abducted children is impaired when they view a photo of a smiling, clean child, but come into contact with the same child whose appearance is very different because he or she is upset, crying, dishevelled or unkempt.

This is the key finding of a study published October 28 in Applied Cognitive Psychology.

When a child goes missing the police often rely on photographs provided by his or her parents, but the photos they usually provide, often school pictures, may not be as useful as they would like. The purpose of this new study was to identify what type of photo is most likely to help in the recognition of a missing child.

Two experiments were conducted to test the ability of adults to recognise children from photos. Over 150 adults were shown pictures of children that were either "cleaned up" as they would typically appear, in school photos, happy and clean, as well as a "dirtied up" picture, where the child looked dirty, tired, sad or angry.

Results from the study show that recognition is best when the original appearance of the child matched the appearance when memory is later tested.

"My question was, if you happened to see a missing child with their perpetrator and the child is dirty or has been physically abused, would you be able to recognise that child from a photo of him or her smiling, clean and happy?" said lead researcher, Dr. Vicki Gier, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Mississippi State University. "If an adult is shown two pictures of a child with similar appearance, both 'clean' or both 'dirty', recognition is good. However, if an adult sees two pictures of the same child but with differing appearance, then recognition is poor."

These findings could prove beneficial in the search for children who are abducted or reported missing, as typically the picture given by parents and distributed by the police is a school photo, in which a child is smiling and clean.

To combat this, the researchers have strongly suggested that parents have both types of pictures available (clean and dirty) in case their child is abducted or missing. "If both types of facial appearance were shown to the public or possible eyewitnesses, the chances of recognising the child may increase," said Gier.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Abducted Children: Conventional Photos Alone Don't Aid The Search." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081028205652.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, October 30). Abducted Children: Conventional Photos Alone Don't Aid The Search. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081028205652.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Abducted Children: Conventional Photos Alone Don't Aid The Search." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081028205652.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins