Volume 31, Issue 2 (April 1986)
The Value of Microscopic Features in the Examination of Human Head Hairs: Statistical Analysis of Questionnaire Returns
There is an apparent diversity of opinion with respect to the probative value of hair in the United Kingdom and in North America. A questionnaire was devised and widely circulated in an attempt to discover the reasons behind this diversity and to seek the views of a broad range of hair examiners. This paper reports on the statistical analyses of the answers to the closed form questions. The majority of replies to most questions favored the number of categories given in the questionnaire. The general impression is that U.K. scientists tend to want fewer categories for classification of microscopic features than the North Americans. The largest divisions of opinion concerned pigment distribution and density and the medulla, where North American scientists want more categories for classification and the U.K. scientists fewer. The implications of these results in the choice and description of features to be examined in human hairs is considered in the second paper concerned with this questionnaire.