Fantastic News For Caricaturists!

Police urged to drop photofits for caricatures(Link to original article)

Ian Sample, science correspondent
Monday November 26, 2007
The Guardian

Police forces should issue comical caricatures of the criminals they are hunting instead of standard photofits, according to a team of scientists who found that cartoon-like faces are better at jolting people’s memories.

A study at the University of Central Lancashire found that over-emphasising prominent features on people’s faces made them twice as easy to identify than before.

The researchers used computer software to alter the faces of 18 celebrities which had been created using three standard photofit techniques. The faces were then turned into caricatures by exaggerating certain features, such as the size of a person’s ears, forehead or nose, by as much as 50%.

Article continues
In tests, volunteers were asked to identify people from the standard photofit of their face and from their caricature.

On average, a photofit face was correctly identified 20% of the time, compared with 40% for the caricature, according to a report in this month’s Visual Cognition journal.

I’m off to my local police station to demand a job!


3 Responses

  1. woah..that’s pretty interesting…i wonder if caricaturists remember faces better than other people…they definately have a certain eye for features…im not sure i would even know what to exaggerate if i had to draw one…

  2. For caricaturists, prominent features stick out for a mile!

  3. yeah.. that was a pretty cool piece of news. the fact that caricatures help in remembering ppl’s faces is jus not an experimental truth but also an idea indirectly pioneered by harry lorayne (thro his memory techniques). in his “art of remembering faces” he asks us to associate the person’s face with something ridiculous and this will stick to our mind. and a caricaturist does the imagining work for us, thus making even a glance at the picture enuf. but harry lorayne didnt know/ realize that caricatures can help better.. hope the news does make an impact

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