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Application of Enhanced Point Estimators to a Sample of In Vivo CT‐derived Facial Soft Tissue Thicknesses

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Facial approximations based on facial soft tissue depth measurement tables often utilize the arithmetic mean as a central tendency estimator. Stephan et al. (J Forensic Sci 2013;58:1439) suggest that the shorth and 75‐shormax statistics are better suited to describe the central tendency of non‐normal soft tissue depth data, while also accommodating normal distributions. The shorth, 75‐shormax, arithmetic mean, and other central tendency estimators were evaluated using a CT‐derived facial soft tissue depth dataset. Differences between arithmetic mean and shorth mean for the tissue depths examined ranged from 0 mm to +2.3 mm (average 0.6 mm). Differences between the arithmetic mean plus one standard deviation (to approximate the same data points covered by the 75‐shormax) and 75‐shormax values ranged from −0.8 mm to +0.7 mm (average 0.2 mm). The results of this research suggest that few practical differences exist across the central tendency point estimators for the evaluated soft tissue depth dataset.
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Keywords: central tendency; facial approximation; facial reconstruction; forensic anthropology; forensic science; point estimation; population data; soft tissue thickness

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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