Fact or friction: Examination of the transparency, reliability and sufficiency of the ACE-V method of fingerprint analysis.
In this study, we investigated the emotional and motivational factors involved in fingerprint analysis in day-to-day routine case work and in significant and harrowing criminal investigations. Thematic analysis was performed on interviews with 13 experienced fingerprint examiners from a variety of law enforcement agencies. The data revealed factors relating to job satisfaction and the use of skill. Individual satisfaction related to catching criminals was observed; this was most notable in solving high profile, serious, or long-running cases. There were positive emotional effects associated with matching fingerprints and apparent fear of making errors. Finally, we found evidence for a need of cognitive closure in fingerprint examiner decision-making.