Exploring essential skills of CCTV operators: the role of sensitivity to nonverbal cues

The aim of the present research is to investigate the importance of individual differences in the recognition of emotional state from non-verbal, visual cues in relation to the work of CCTV operators. An experiment was conducted to determine whether the detection of a gun carrier can be predicted on the basis of an observer’s ability to recognize emotion conveyed by non-verbal, visual cues. There was a relationship between the emotional state reported by an individual whilst carrying a firearm and the extent to which an observer was ability to determine whether or not this individual was carrying a gun. It was also found that observers with a high ability to recognize emotion from facial expressions were able to spot a gun carrier more accurately than observers with a low ability in this respect. This small-scale pilot study requires replication with a larger number of participants and real CCTV images.