Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Criminal faces: Clinical experiences of forensic artists
by Cline, Donna, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012, 286; 3567525
Abstract (Summary)

The forensic artists who create suspect composite drawings of wanted criminals for law enforcement agencies are frequently exposed to the details of traumatic events. The manner and degree to which this exposure to details of violence affects the perceptions and lives of these artists comprise the basis of this phenomenological study. Interviews with 8 experienced forensic artists include inquiries about their background and training and their perceptions of the most disturbing type of crimes, and also about how they subjectively process the traumatic material received via the cognitive interviews that they conduct with victims and witnesses of violent crime. Perceptions of a more comprehensive effect of violence on society are also explored. Other pivotal aspects of this study include the manner in which memories of criminal cases are evoked, and specifically the way in which specific facial features that these artists have imaged in composites may act as triggers to these memories. The results of this inquiry reveal the varied degrees to which these forensic artists are conscious of the effects of this repeated exposure to traumatic detail. However, conscious revelations of such an impact on their lives occur frequently during the research interviews due to the narrative process of specific cases with which they had been involved. Recommended future research includes further exploration of specific facial features as triggers to traumatic memory and of the gender of the forensic artist may have on the perception of facial features and their translatable meanings within the context of a suspect composite interview.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bishop, Allen
Commitee: Furman Glaser, Deborah, Selig, Jennifer
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Criminology
Keywords: Clinical psychology, Criminology, Forensic artists, Suspect composite drawings, Violence
Publication Number: 3567525
ISBN: 978-1-303-19345-3
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