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Investigating Person Identification in Security Settings with Virtual Reality

Tummon, Hannah Margaret (2019) Investigating Person Identification in Security Settings with Virtual Reality. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:79034)

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Abstract

Person identification at airports requires the comparison of a passport photograph with its bearer. In psychology, this process is typically studied with static pairs of face photographs that require identity match (same person shown) versus mismatch (two different people) decisions, but this approach provides a limited proxy for studying how environment and social interaction factors affect this task. This thesis explores the feasibility of virtual reality (VR) as a solution to this problem, by examining the identity matching of avatars in a VR airport. In Chapter 2, facial photographs of real people are successfully rendered into VR avatars in a manner that preserves image and identity information (Experiments 1 to 3). Furthermore, identity matching of avatar pairs reflects similar cognitive processes to the matching of face photographs (Experiments 4 and 5), a pattern which holds when assessed in a VR airport (Experiments 6 and 7). Chapter 3 then examines whether a simulation of a passport control task in VR can provide a useful tool for selecting personnel for real-world tasks (Experiment 8). The classification of identity mismatches, the detection of which is of paramount importance in security settings, correlated across conventional laboratory face matching tests and the VR passport control task. Social interaction factors, such as body language, may further influence face matching performance, which was explored in Chapter 4. Whilst performance was unaffected when observers were not instructed explicitly to utilise body language (Experiments 9 and 10), when instructed body language enhanced detection of identity mismatches yet also increased false classification of matches (Experiments 11 to 13). This effect was driven by increased activity levels rather than body language that simply differed from normal behaviour, and occurred independently of individuals' face-matching ability (Experiment 14). This thesis concludes with a summary of how VR can open up many avenues for face-matching research, by facilitating the study of new environment and social interaction factors that may be relevant in real-world operational settings.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Bindemann, Markus
Uncontrolled keywords: face matching, virtual reality, person identification, security settings
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2019 15:11 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:10 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/79034 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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