Just Human Factors

Just Human Factors

Just Human Factors

In episode two, funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110], Dr. Tom Busey explores the importance of human factors as it relates to fingerprint analysis and interpretation. He, along with RTI International resident fingerprint expert, co-host Heidi Eldridge, will discuss the dangers in performing large database searches and the top issues that involve human factors in the forensic laboratory. Why should the forensic science community care about psychology and psychological research? Find out in this episode!

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Professor Tom Busey received his BA from Cornell University and a PhD from the University of Washington in Cognitive Psychology. In 1994 he joined the faculty of Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, which is the oldest continuously operated Psychology Department in the US [Faculty Page Link]. He began a collaboration with John Vanderkolk of the Indiana State Police in 2002, which has resulted in a range of publications on the mechanisms of perceptual expertise in fingerprint examiners, supported by two NIJ-sponsored grants. Dr. Busey served on the editorial board of NIST’s Expert Working Group on Human Factors and contributes to several ongoing policy-making bodies in forensics. His primary research focus is on the factors that contribute to errors in perceptual decision making in forensics, and include eye tracking, electrophysiology and behavioral research methods [Dr. Busey’s Research Website].





Heidi Eldridge has been a forensic scientist for over 12 years, 10 of which have been as a latent print examiner. Heidi is a Certified Latent Print Examiner with the IAI, sits on the JFI Editorial Board, and was a member of SWGFAST until its dissolution. She is now a member of the Friction Ridge Subcommittee of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) and of the Academy Standards Board’s Friction Ridge Consensus Body.  Heidi has been teaching latent print testimony for more than 5 years and is currently a PhD candidate in the Forensic Science program at the University of Lausanne. She recently left the bench and is now a Research Forensic Scientist with RTI International.




Additional Content:

Contact Dr. Tom Busey to participate in his research at
Dr. Busey’s Knowledge Transfers:
Heidi Eldridge’s Knowledge Transfers:
          The Basics of Error Rates in Pattern Evidence