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Title: The Limits of Super Recognition: An Other-Ethnicity Effect in Individuals with Extraordinary Face Recognition Skills
Authors: Bate, S
Bennetts, R
Hasshim, N
Portch, E
Murray, E
Burns, E
Dudfield, G
Keywords: Face recognition;Individual differences;Super-recognisers;Face matching
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Citation: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Abstract: In the last decade there has been increasing interest in super-recognisers, who have an extraordinary ability to recognise faces. However, it has not yet been investigated whether these individuals are subject to the same biases in face recognition as typical perceivers. The most renowned constraint reported to date is the other-ethnicity effect, whereby people are better at recognizing faces from their own, compared to other, ethnicities. If super recognisers also show this bias, it is possible that they are no better at other-ethnicity face recognition than typical native perceivers – a finding that would have important theoretical and practical implications. In the current study, eight Caucasian super-recognisers performed other-ethnicity tests of face memory and face matching. In Experiment 1, super-recognisers outperformed Caucasian but not Asian controls in their memory for Asian faces. In Experiment 2, a similar pattern emerged in some super-recognisers on a test of face matching. Finally, Experiment 3 examined the consistency of superior other-ethnicity face matching in relation to Caucasian controls, using Arab and Black faces. Only four super-recognisers consistently outperformed controls, and other-ethnicity matching performance was not related to Caucasian face-matching or own- or other-ethnicity face memory. These findings suggest that super-recognisers are subject to the same biases as typical perceivers, and are simply those at the top end of a common face recognition spectrum as opposed to a qualitatively different group of individuals.
ISSN: 0096-1523
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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