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Greenwich Super-Recognisers

Supervisor: Dr Josh P Davis

Applied Psychology Research Group

University of Greenwich

Old Royal Naval College,

Park Row

London

SE10 9LS

©2019 by Super-Recognisers.

Dr Josh P Davis

This is a summary page on Josh Davis' work, achievements, responsibilities, publications, talks, and overall impact

In Brief

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Dr Josh P Davis is a Reader in Applied Psychology at the University of Greenwich. His PhD was on the “Forensic Identification of Unfamiliar Faces in CCTV Images” (2007) and he has since published research on human face recognition and eyewitness identification, the reliability of facial composite systems (e.g., E-FIT, EFIT-V), and methods used by expert witnesses to provide evidence of identification in court (‘facial comparison evidence’). He is a member of the Experimental Psychology Society and the British Psychological Society.

 

Since April 2011, his research has mainly focussed on so-called ‘super-recognisers’. This has led to changes in the management and distribution of CCTV images by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) – substantially enhancing suspect identification rates. In May 2014, he received European Commission funding as part of the €8,406,523 LASIE (2014) consortium (http://www.lasie-project.eu/), with the primary aim of developing a test of superior face recognition to ensure the MPS can identify, and optimally deploy super-recogniser officers, staff and recruits. He has also advised other international police forces (e.g. Australia, Germany, Singapore), consulted with business (e.g., Yoti), and presented his research worldwide (e.g., Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Russia, USA).

 

He regularly features in the international media (e.g., BBC, ITV, Sky TV (UK), CBS (USA), TV 2 (Denmark), Galileo (Germany), Fantastico (Brazil), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), NHK (Japan), NBC, New York Times, Washington Post (USA) and his first co-edited book “Forensic Facial Identification: Theory and Practice of Identification from Eyewitnesses, Composites and CCTV” (Wiley Blackwell) was published in 2015 (Valentine & Davis, 2015).

 

Employment

2008 - ​

Department of Psychology, Social Work and Counselling, University of Greenwich, London SE10 9LS

Reader (2016- )

Senior Lecturer in Psychology (2008-2016) 

Duties

Programme Leader: MSc Psychology (Conversion)

Ambassador: Faculty of Education and Health Early Career Researchers (ECR)

Grants Lead: Department of Psychology, Social Work and Counselling Research Executive

Link Tutor: Criminology and Criminological Psychology (BSc and MSc) (2009-2017)

PhD Supervision (ongoing)

  • Jenkins, R. (2018-2021). The developmental trajectory of individual differences in voice and face recognition. University of Greenwich: Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship Award (supervisors: Davis, J. P., Monks, C. & Tsementelli, S.).

  • Halascova, F. (2017-2022). Investigating stigma towards former and current female sex workers. Self-funded (supervisors: Davis, J. P., Stahl, S., & Smith, R.).​

  • Chandler, V. (2014-2017). Women and drinking at home. University of Greenwich: Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship Award (Supervisors: Foster, J., Cleaver, K., & Davis, J. P.).

PhD Supervision (completed)

  • Belanova, E.  (2014-2018). A neuroscientific and cognitive examination of individual differences in face recognition ability. University of Greenwich: Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship Award (supervisors: Davis, J. P., Thompson, T., & Monks, C.).

  • Li, Y. (2012-2016). The assessment of urban public open space in China and the UK. China Scholarship Council (supervisors: Wall, E., & Davis, J. P.)

MSc Psychology (by Research)

  • Ali, L. (2015-2018). The relationship between face recognition ability, personality and cognitive processing. Self-funded. (Supervisor: Davis, J. P.).

Level 7

  • PSYC1072: Criminal Investigative Psychology: Module leader and lecturer (2014- ): Miscarriages of justice and confirmation bias; Eyewitness identification procedures: Fairness and sensitivity; Identification from CCTV; Psychology and technology: Facial composites.

  • PSYH0053: MSc Psychology (Conversion): Project supervision (2012- ): Topics associated with eyewitness identification, super-recognisers, rape myths, attitudes towards consent, miscarriages of justice, identification from CCTV, memory, perception, cognition, ergonomics.

  • PSYC1104:  Social Forensic Psychology: Module leader and lecturer (2016- ): Jury decision making in rape cases; Jury decision making and the death penalty, Violent and sexual offenders: Assessment, treatment & management.

Level 6

  • PSYH1035: Investigative Forensic Psychology: Module leader and lecturer (2009- ): Introduction to investigative forensic psychology; Miscarriages of justice, Eyewitness testimony; Interviewing witnesses and the cognitive interview; False and recovered memories; Eyewitness identification: Estimator variables; Eyewitness identification: system variables; Facial composites and repeated identification procedures; Identification from CCTV and individual differences in face recognition; Interviewing suspects and false confessions; Lie detection; Profile analysis, Psychology of the death penalty.

  • PSYC1073: Social Forensic Psychology: Module leader and lecturer (2013- ): Jury decision making in rape cases; Jury decision making and the death penalty, Violent and sexual offenders: Assessment, treatment & management.

  • PSYC1069: Third Year Projects: Project supervisor (2008- ): Topics associated with eyewitness identification, super-recognisers, rape myths, miscarriages of justice, identification from CCTV, memory, perception, cognition, ergonomics, jury decision making, stigmatisation.

Other roles

2018 - 2019

London South Bank University, 103 Borough Rd, London, SE1 0AA

Visiting Lecturer: BSc Psychology: Level 6: Miscarriages of justice, Deception detection; Eyewitness identification.

2016 - 2018

Prague Summer Schools, Schola Empirica, Vvjezdova 510, 190 11 Prague 9, Czech Republic

Visiting Lecturer: Crime Law and Psychology Summer School: Detecting deception; False confessions and suspect interviews; Super-recognisers and identification from CCTV; Visual identification evidence; Psychology of the death penalty.

2018

SRH Hochschule Heidelberg, Ludwig-Guttmann-Straße 6, 69123 Heidelberg, Germany

Visiting Lecturer: Bachelors Psychology; Masters Legal Psychology: Miscarriages of justice and cognitive biases; False confessions and deception detection; Miscarriages of justice in rape and sexual assault cases; Psychology of the death penalty.

2017

University of Bath

Visiting lecturer: Level 6: Identification from CCTV and individual differences in face recognition ability.

 

Interviews & Appearances

Note: Within each category, only 10 most recent are displayed. Download the full CV (left) for more.

Television and Radio

Newspaper and magazine interviews

 

Publications

Note: Up to 10 most recent publications within each category are listed. For more, please see full CV  (left) or our Research page for topic-specific publications, such as Face Recognition.

Book

Book chapters

  • Davis, J. P. (under review). Impact of super-recognisers in policing, security, and facial identity verification. In C. Stott, and B. Bradford (Eds.), Impacts of Psychology, Policing, and Crime Prevention. London: Routledge.

  • Davis, J. P., Gibson, S., & Solomon, C. (2017). Holistic facial composite systems: Implementation and evaluation, in M. Bindemann and A. M. Megreya (Eds.), Face Processing: Systems, Disorders and Cultural Differences. Nova Science Publishers.

  • Valentine, T., & Davis, J. P. (2015). Forensic facial identification: A practical guide to best practice. In T. Valentine and J. P. Davis (Eds.), Forensic Facial Identification: Theory and Practice of Identification from Eyewitnesses, Composites and CCTV (pp. 323-347). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781118469538.ch13

  • Davis, J. P., & ­Valentine, T. (2015). Human verification of identity from photographic images. In T. Valentine and J. P. Davis (Eds.), Forensic Facial Identification: Theory and Practice of Identification from Eyewitnesses, Composites and CCTV (pp. 211-238). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781118469538.ch9

  • ­Valentine, T., & Davis, J. P. (2015). Eyewitness identification and surveillance of facial images: progress and problems. In T. Valentine and J. P. Davis (Eds.), Forensic Facial Identification: Theory and Practice of Identification from Eyewitnesses, Composites and CCTV (pp. 3-14). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781118469538.ch1

  • Edmond, G., Davis, J. P., & Valentine, T. (2015). Expert analysis: Facial image comparison. In T. Valentine and J. P. Davis (Eds.), Forensic Facial Identification: Theory and Practice of Identification from Eyewitnesses, Composites and CCTV (pp. 239-262). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781118469538.ch10

  • Davis, J. P. (2012). Image comparison, facial, photographic. In A. Jamiesson and A. Moenssens (Eds.), Wiley Encyclopaedia of Forensic Science. Wiley: UK. DOI: 10.1002/9780470061589.fsa1066

  • Davis, J. P., Valentine, T., & Wilkinson, C. (2012). Facial image comparison. In C. Wilkinson and C. Rynn (Eds.), Craniofacial Identification (pp. 136-153). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI.org/10.1017/CBO9781139049566.012

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Other articles

 

Conferences & Invited Talks

Note: Only 10 most recent are displayed. See full CV (left) for more.

  • Davis, J. P. (2019). Super-recognisers: Spotting faces in a crowd. London Fortean Society, Aldgate, London, 28 March 2019.

  • Davis, J. P. (2019). Super recognizers: Humans with extraordinary face recognition ability. World Game Protection Conference (WGPC). Las Vagas, USA, 3-6 March 2019.

  • Davis, J. P. (2019). Super-recognition. Unfamiliar Facial Identification Group Conference, Sydney, Australia, 7-8 February, 2019.

  • Davis, J. P. (2018). Searching for super-recognisers in the police, business and the general public. Department of Psychology, Social Work, and Counselling Seminar Series, University of Greenwich, London, 6 December 2018.

  • Davis, J. P. (2018). The deployment of super-recognisers in policing and identity verification. The Chartered society of forensic scientists Annual Conference, Northampton, 2 November 2018

  • Davis, J. P. (2018). Super-Recognisers in the Police, security and identity verification. TJX Europe, Hemel Hempstead, 19 October 2018.

  • Davis, J. P. (2018). Super-Recognisers in the police, security and identity verification. Association of Super-Recognisers, London, 12 September 2018.

  • Davis, J. P., Forrest, C., Treml, F., & Jansari, A. (2018). Evaluating police super-recognisers’ ability to spot persons of interest in videoed crowds. British Psychological Society: Cognitive Section Annual Conference, Liverpool, 28 August 2018.

  • Davis, J. P. (2018). Super-Recognisers in the police, security and identity verification. Yoti, Chelmsford, Essex, 12 August 2018.

  • Jenkins, R., & Davis, J. P. (2018: poster). Relationships between face and voice recognition: A correlational study. 33rd Annual Conference for Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group (PsyPAG), Huddersfield, 20 July 2018.

 

Consultancy & Enterprise

  • Davis, J. P. (2018). Research consultancy. Queensland Police Service, December 2018.

  • Davis, J. P. (2018). Research consultancy (extended). Yoti, October 2018.

  • Davis, J. P. (2018). Research consultancy. Stuttgart Police, May 2018.

  • Davis, J. P. (2018). Research consultancy (extended). Super-Recognisers International, March 2018.

  • Davis, J. P. (2018). Research consultancy. Seequestor, February 2018.

  • Davis, J. P. (2018). Research consultancy. TJX Europe, February 2018.          

  • Davis, J. P. (2018). Research consultancy. Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, the Netherlands, February 2018.

  • Davis, J. P. (2017). Research consultancy, Munich Police, Germany, November 2017.

  • Davis, J. P. (2017). Research consultancy. Super-Recognisers International, August 2017.

  • Davis, J. P. (2017). Research consultancy (extended). Yoti, January 2017.

  • Davis, J. P. (2016). Research consultancy. Singapore Government Agency, December 2016.

  • Davis, J. P. (2016). Research consultancy. Greater Manchester Police, October 2016.

  • Davis, J. P. (2016). Research consultancy. Yoti, January 2016.

  • Davis, J. P. (2015). Research consultancy. Essex Police, October 2015.

  • Davis, J. P. (2015). Research consultancy. Yoti, August 2015.

  • Davis, J. P. (2015). Research consultancy. Hertfordshire Constabulary, May 2015.

  • Davis, J. P. (2014). Research consultancy. Greater Manchester Police, September 2014.

  • Davis, J. P., Evans, R., & Lander, K. (2011). Research consultancy. Commissioner of Police of the New Scotland Yard Metropolis of London, March 2011 (unfunded).

 

Dissemination Grants

Note: Only the 5 most recent grants are listed within each category.

For a full list, please see the full CV (left).

External Grants

Internal Grants

  • Davis, J. P., Monks, C., & van Zalk, N. (2017). The developmental trajectory of individual differences in voice and face recognition ability. University of Greenwich: Vice Chancellor’s Studentship PhD Award, April 2017.

  • Davis, J. P., Monks, C., & van Zalk, N. (2016). Family relationships in ‘super’ face recognition ability, shyness and personality. University of Greenwich: Research Excellence Framework Funds 2016/17, £9,945, October 2016.

  • Davis, J. P. (2016). Development of a face database for future research and enterprise projects. University of Greenwich: Seedling Fund, £2,486, April 2016.

  • Foster, J., Davis, J. P., & Thompson, S. (2015). Student drinking: Cross-sectional investigation of drinking trajectory and risky behaviours in students across academic year groups. University of Greenwich: Research Excellence Framework Funds 2015/16, £9,485, October 2015.

  • Davis, J. P., & Jolliffe, D. (2014). Evaluating and enhancing the eyewitness identification performance of older adults. University of Greenwich: Research & Enterprise Investment Programme 2014/15 – RAE Competitive Round, RAE-EH-03/14, August 2014, £26,993.

 

Impact

Summary of Impact Statement

This research, which examines police investigatory methods to identify police suspects has directly increased suspect identification rates by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). It led to the MPS establishing a register of `super-recognisers' - officers particularly skilled at identifying faces from CCTV footage - and changed practices. Dissemination of the research, also well-publicised in the media, has influenced national policy makers. There is worldwide interest and secured European funding for a test to identify super-recognisers amongst police cohorts. The research is also improving recognition of EFIT-V images, the facial composite system used by most UK police forces. Dr Davis is disseminating his findings through the training course that operators have to complete to be certified to produce composites in real police investigations. He is also contributing to economic impact by enhancing the EFIT-V product.

 

Education & Qualifications

PhD

Goldsmiths, University of London (2007)

PhD Psychology (funded by ESRC): “The forensic identification of CCTV images of unfamiliar faces.”

MSc

University of Reading (2002)

MSc Research Methods in Psychology: Thesis: “Examination of the neurological correlates of unattended speech processing using PET scanning technology.”

BSc

Royal Holloway, University of London (1999)

BSc Psychology (1st Class): Project: “Cross-modal repetition priming in person recognition: Investigation into recognition and semantic priming effects from voices to names and faces.”

PGCertHE

University of Greenwich (2010)

PGCert in Higher Education

 

Other Responsibilities

Peer-reviewer: Journals and Councils

  • Journal peer reviewer: Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, Applied Cognitive Psychology; Ergonomics; Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition; Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied; Memory & Cognition; PLOS ONE; Psychological Research; Psychology, Crime and Law; Science & Justice; Journal of Forensic Practice; Perception; Physiology & Behavior; Cortex, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review; Legal and Criminological Psychology

  • Research council peer reviewer: ESRC, Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats

Professional Associations

  • Graduate member of the British Psychological Society

  • Member of the European Association of Psychology and Law

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

  • Member of the Experimental Psychology Society

External Examiner

  • PhD Examiner: South Bank University (2014), Goldsmiths, University of London (2017), Liverpool Hope University (2018), Nottingham Trent University (2018)

  • MSc by Research examiner: University of Kent (2012)

  • External Examiner: University of Reading (2018-): MSc Psychology programmes

  • External Examiner: University of Chester (2018-): BSc Forensic Psychology