Dr David White

Dr David White

Dr David White

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


PhD, University of Glasgow, UK (2004-2008)
BSc, University of York, UK (2000-2003)

Contact details

Phone: (02) 9385 3254
Email: Dr David White
Fax: twitter: @davidwhitephd

Office: Mathews, Room 1002

Research Summary

I am interested in cognitive processes and representations driving face recognition, familiarity and perceptual expertise. To address this, recent work has focussed on individual differences and expert performance in face identification tasks, both in trained professionals and individuals with natural aptitude in these tasks.



White, D.,Norrell, K., Phillips, J. P., O’Toole, A. J. (in press). Human factors in forensic face identification. In Handbook of Biometrics and Forensics, Tistarelli, M. & Champod, C. (Eds.).

Kemp, R. I. & White, D. (in press). Face identification. In Applied Cognitive Psychology, Groome, D., Eyesenck, M. (Eds.).


Towler, A., White, D., Kemp ,R. I. (in press). Evaluating the feature comparison strategy for forensic face identification. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

White, D. Rivolta, D., Burton, A. M., Al-Janabi, S., & Palermo, R. (in press). Face matching impairment in developmental prosopagnosia. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Menon, N., White, D. & Kemp, R. I. (in press). Variation in photos of the same face drives improvements in identity verification. Perception.

Beattie, L., Walsh, D., McClaren, J., Biello, S. M., White, D. (2016). Perceptual impairment in face identification with poor sleep. Royal Society Open Science.

White, D., Burton, A. L., & Kemp, R. I. (2016). Not looking yourself: the cost of self selecting photographs for face identification. British Journal of Psychology, 107, 357-373.

White, D., Dunn, J. D., Schmid, A. C. & Kemp, R. I. (2015). Error rates in users of automatic face recognition software. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0139827. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0139827.

White, D., Phillips, P. J., Hahn, C. A., Hill, M., & O’Toole, A. J. (2015). Perceptual expertise in forensic facial image comparison. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 282, 1814-1822.

Menon, N., White, D. & Kemp, R. I. (2015). Identity-level representations affect unfamiliar face matching performance in sequential but not simultaneous tasks. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68 (9), 1777-1793.

Ritchie, K. L., Smith, F. G., Jenkins, R., Bindemann, M., White, D., & Burton, A.M. (2015). Viewers base estimates of face matching accuracy on their own familiarity: Explaining the photo-ID paradox. Cognition, 141, 161-169.

White D, Kemp RI, Jenkins R, Matheson M, Burton AM (2014) Passport Officers’ Errors in Face Matching. PLoS ONE 9(8): e103510. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0103510 

White, D., Burton, A. M., Jenkins, R. & Kemp, R. I. (2014). Redesigning photo-ID to improve unfamiliar face matching. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 20 (2), 166-173.

Towler, A., White, D. & Kemp ,R. I. (2014). Evaluating training methods of Facial Image Comparison: The Face Shape Strategy does not work. Perception, 43 (2), 214-218.

White, D., Kemp, R., Jenkins, R. & Burton, A. M. (2014). Feedback training for facial image comparison. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21 (1), 100-10

Edmond, G., Martire, K., Kemp, R.I, Hamer, D., Hibbert, B., Ligertwood, A., Porter, G., San Roque, M., Searston, R, Tangen, J., Thompson, M. & White, D. (2014).How to cross-examine forensic scientists: A guide for lawyers. Australian Bar Review, 39 (2), 174-197.

Frowd, C.White, D., Kemp, R. I., Jenkins, R., Nawaz, M. & Herold, K. (2014). Constructing faces from memory: the impact of image likeness and prototypical representations. Journal of Forensic Practice, 16 (4), 243-256.

White, D., Burton, A. M., Kemp, R. I., & Jenkins, R. (2013). Crowd effects in unfamiliar face matching. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 27(6), 769-777.

Strathie, A., McNeill, A. & White, D. (2012). In the dock: Chimeric image composites reduce face identification accuracy. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26 (1), 140-148.

Jenkins, R., White, D., Van Monfort, X. & Burton, A. M. (2011). Variability in photos of the same face. Cognition, 121 (3), 313-323.

Megreya, A. M., White, D. & Burton, A. M. (2011). The other race effect does not rely on memory: evidence from a matching task. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 64, 1473-1483.

Burton, A. M., White, D. & McNeill, A. (2010). The Glasgow Face Matching Test. Behavior Research Methods, 42, pp 286-291.

Jenkins, R., Burton, A.M., & White, D. (2006). Face recognition from unconstrained images: Progress with prototypes. Proceedings of the Seventh IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition pp 25-30.

Burton, A. M., Jenkins, R., Hancock, P. J., & White, D. (2005). The power of averages: Robust Representations for Face Recognition. Cognitive Psychology, 51, pp 256- 284.

Current Research Students

Tanya Wayne, James Dunn, Alice Towler, Nadia Menon, Aida Afrooz (Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW)

Personal Links

 Forensic Psychology Lab

Google Scholar

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