Missing Children Photograph Appeals

Does the Number of Appeals Affect Identification Accuracy Following a Short Recall Delay?

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Abstract

The study objectives were (1) to determine if there were any associations between the time spent observing fictional appeals and identification accuracy, (2) to establish if the number of missing children photographs observed influences identification accuracy and (3) to determine whether the number of missing children appeals observed influences identification accuracy following a short 3-day delay. A two-stage approach was utilised. Two hundred and forty-two participants observed one, four or eight mock missing children photographs followed by a short word memory distraction task and a target present line-up identification task. The second stage comprised of another target present line-up identification task presented after a short 3-day delay. One-way between-group ANOVAs indicate that observing one missing child photograph has significantly greater overall identification accuracy and lower identification error than viewing four or eight photographs immediately after observing the appeal and following a 3-day delay. Additional analyses found that the identification accuracy was significantly higher immediately after observation compared with the identification accuracy following a 3-day delay. The findings demonstrate the necessity for improving missing children appeals. Due to the exploratory nature of the study, additional research is required to explore these factors further.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Early online date26 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jun 2019

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title = "Missing Children Photograph Appeals: Does the Number of Appeals Affect Identification Accuracy Following a Short Recall Delay?",
abstract = "The study objectives were (1) to determine if there were any associations between the time spent observing fictional appeals and identification accuracy, (2) to establish if the number of missing children photographs observed influences identification accuracy and (3) to determine whether the number of missing children appeals observed influences identification accuracy following a short 3-day delay. A two-stage approach was utilised. Two hundred and forty-two participants observed one, four or eight mock missing children photographs followed by a short word memory distraction task and a target present line-up identification task. The second stage comprised of another target present line-up identification task presented after a short 3-day delay. One-way between-group ANOVAs indicate that observing one missing child photograph has significantly greater overall identification accuracy and lower identification error than viewing four or eight photographs immediately after observing the appeal and following a 3-day delay. Additional analyses found that the identification accuracy was significantly higher immediately after observation compared with the identification accuracy following a 3-day delay. The findings demonstrate the necessity for improving missing children appeals. Due to the exploratory nature of the study, additional research is required to explore these factors further.",
keywords = "Missing persons, Missing Children, Publicity Appeals, Identification, Facial Recognition, Rescue Alert, Missing Children Appeal, Missing Persons Appeal, Recall accuracy, Missing children, Child rescue alerts, Publicity appeals",
author = "Daniel Hunt and Maria Ioannou and John Synnott",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
day = "26",
doi = "10.1007/s11896-019-09337-2",
language = "English",
journal = "Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology",
issn = "0882-0783",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",

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AU - Ioannou, Maria

AU - Synnott, John

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N2 - The study objectives were (1) to determine if there were any associations between the time spent observing fictional appeals and identification accuracy, (2) to establish if the number of missing children photographs observed influences identification accuracy and (3) to determine whether the number of missing children appeals observed influences identification accuracy following a short 3-day delay. A two-stage approach was utilised. Two hundred and forty-two participants observed one, four or eight mock missing children photographs followed by a short word memory distraction task and a target present line-up identification task. The second stage comprised of another target present line-up identification task presented after a short 3-day delay. One-way between-group ANOVAs indicate that observing one missing child photograph has significantly greater overall identification accuracy and lower identification error than viewing four or eight photographs immediately after observing the appeal and following a 3-day delay. Additional analyses found that the identification accuracy was significantly higher immediately after observation compared with the identification accuracy following a 3-day delay. The findings demonstrate the necessity for improving missing children appeals. Due to the exploratory nature of the study, additional research is required to explore these factors further.

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KW - Missing Persons Appeal

KW - Recall accuracy

KW - Missing children

KW - Child rescue alerts

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