Book Chapter

Remembering faces



Bruce V, Burton AM & Hancock PJB (2007) Remembering faces. In: Lindsay R, Ross D, Read J, Toglia M, Lindsay R, Ross D, Read J & Toglia M (eds.) The handbook of eyewitness psychology, Vol II: Memory for people. Handbook of Eyewitness Psychology, 2. Mahwah, NJ US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, pp. 87-100.

Recent research has helped us to understand the paradox that we are both remarkably good (when people are familiar) and dramatically poor (when people are unfamiliar) at recognizing faces. In this chapter we review the evidence for the distinction between unfamiliar and familiar face recognition, and consider both the theoretical and practical implications of this distinction. At a theoretical level, we suggest a simple model of the process of familiarization, which could account for the apparently qualitative differences in processing that arise from familiarity. At a practical level, we consider the implications of our research for the identification of suspects, particularly when CCTV images are available to assist with identification. The chapter begins by considering some of the differences that have been observed between familiar and unfamiliar face recognition and asks whether these differences arise because of the additional availability of nonvisual coding for familiar faces, or whether there is (additionally) evidence for a difference in the visual representation of familiar compared with unfamiliar faces. We then review the nature of the differences in visual representation of familiar compared with unfamiliar faces, before turning finally to consider how such apparently qualitative differences in processing may arise through simple exposure to more images of faces. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of the practical implications of our work. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved) (from the chapter)

10; AFFILIATION; audience; AVAILABILITY; C; Classification; Coding; DATE; difference; evidence; exposure; Face; FACE perception; Face recognition; Faces; FAMILIAR; familiar face recognition; familiar faces; Familiarity; identification; IMAGE; IMAGES; implications; language; LEVEL; media; memories; Memory; model; NUMBER; Paradoxes; PEOPLE; Perception; Population; professional; PSYCHOLOGY; Psycinfo; qualitative; recognition; RECORD; RELEASE; representation; Research; review; rights; Scotland; theoretical & practical implications; unfamiliar face recognition; unfamiliar faces; universities; VISUAL perception; visual representations; work

Title of seriesHandbook of Eyewitness Psychology
Number in series2
Publication date31/12/2007
PublisherLawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers
Publisher URL…&site=ehost-live
Place of publicationMahwah, NJ US

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Professor Peter Hancock

Professor Peter Hancock

Professor, Psychology