Bobak AK, Mileva VR & Hancock PJB (2019) Facing the facts: Naive participants have only moderate insight into their face recognition and face perception abilities. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 72 (4), pp. 872-881. https://doi.org/10.1177/1747021818776145
A reliable self-report measure to assess the broad spectrum of face recognition ability (FRA) from developmental prosopagnosia (DP) to super-recognition (SR) would make a valuable contribution to initial screening of large populations. We examined performance of 96 naive participants and seven SRs, using a range of face and object processing tasks and a newly developed 20-item questionnaire, the Stirling Face Recognition Scale (SFRS). Overall, our findings suggest that young adults have only moderate insight into their FRA, but those who have been previously informed of their (exceptional) performance, the SRs, estimate their FRA accurately. Principal Component Analysis of SFRS yielded two components. One loads on questions about low ability and correlates with perceptual tasks and one loads on questions about high FRA and correlates with memory for faces. We recommend that self-report measures of FRA should be used in addition to behavioural testing, to allow for cross-study comparisons, until new, more reliable instruments of self-report are developed. However, self-report measures should not be solely relied upon to identify highly skilled individuals. Implications of these results for theory and applied practice are discussed.
face recognition; super-recognisers; self-report; face perception; individual differences;
The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology: Volume 72, Issue 4