U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

The Nature of Expertise in Fingerprint Examiners

NCJ Number
255286
Date Published
2010
Length
6 pages
Author(s)
Thomas A. Busey; Francisco J. Parada
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Publication Type
Research (Applied/Empirical), Report (Study/Research), Report (Grant Sponsored), Program/Project Description
Grant Number(s)
2005-MU-BX-K076, 2009-DN-BX-K226
Annotation
Since latent print examinations involve a complex set of psychological and cognitive processes, this article summarizes existing work that has addressed how training and experience creates changes in latent print examiners.
Abstract
Experience appears to improve overall accuracy, increase visual working memory, and lead to configural processing of upright fingerprints. Experts also demonstrate a narrower visual filter and, as a group, tend to show greater consistency when viewing ink prints. These findings address recent criticisms of latent print evidence, but many open questions still exist. Cognitive scientists are well positioned to conduct studies that will improve the training and practices of latent print examiners, and suggestions for becoming involved in fingerprint research are provided. 24 references (publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: July 20, 2021