‘Super-recognisers’ Dr Josh Davis Wed 10 July

SEMINAR: Super-recognisers with exceptional face memory: Research and applied implications

by Dr Josh Davis from the University of Greenwich, on Wed 10 July from 10h30 – 11h30 in U325

In the ten years since the first research paper describing super-recognisers was published in 2019, super-recognisers with exceptional skills at face recognition have been successfully deployed by police forces in a number of countries. They have made thousands of suspect identifications from CCTV, generating crucial leads so as to secure inculpating evidence. This led to a high proportion of convictions, although they have also assisted in missing person cases, inquests into deaths at major disasters, and at spotting troublemakers in large crowds. This presentation will describe some of the applied, cognitive, and neuroscientific research investigating this skill, together with case studies that provide a blueprint for best deployment practice. 


Dr Josh P Davis is a Reader in Applied Psychology at the University of Greenwich in London. His PhD was on the “Forensic Identification of Unfamiliar Faces in CCTV Images” (2007) and he has since published research on human face recognition, jury decision making, facial comparison methods, and eyewitness identification. His first co-edited book “Forensic Facial Identification: Theory and Practice of Identification from Eyewitnesses, Composites and CCTV” (Wiley Blackwell) was published in 2015, while his recent research has mainly focused on so called ‘super-recognisers’ with exceptional face recognition abilities. This led to changes in the management of CCTV images by London’s Metropolitan Police Service, substantially enhancing suspect identification rates. He has since worked with worldwide police and businesses to assist with super-recogniser deployment and recruitment.

Please RSVP to Fiona Donald (Fiona.Donald@wits.ac.za) for catering purposes.