Cognitive onsultants International   Cognitive Consultants International

Form Blindness

Form Blindness test is used in some forensic labs during recruitment of fingerprint examiners. Although it is a step in the right direction, it falls short because:

1. It is built to test defects, not for quantifying special abilities, talent, that is required for fingerprint examination. This is not only a conceptual and theoretical difference, but it has practical implications. For example, ‘defect’ testing, such as visual acuity and this Form Blindness Test, should only test for minimal threshold requirement (which if you do not reach, you should not be a fingerprint examiner, and if you do reach, then you have passed the test). Such 'defect' testing does not provide scores that enable to judge and rank the relative talent of the candidates.

2. The test was developed over 80 years ago. This is decades before cognitive psychology had even emerged, and very long before brain scans and other cognitive neuroscience tools and methodologies had been developed. In the past 80 years our knowledge and understanding of the human brain and the cognitive system, and in particular visual cognition, has increased substantially. This test does not take into account any of the scientific findings and insights from the last 80 years.

3. It lacks proper validation even in the area it was designed for implementation and use, i.e., document examination. Even more so it has not been scientifically validated in the domain of fingerprinting.

Form Blindness Test, developed in 1939 for document examiners.


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