Disguising Superman: how glasses affect unfamiliar face matching

Kramer, Robin S. S. and Ritchie, Kay L. (2016) Disguising Superman: how glasses affect unfamiliar face matching. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30 (6). pp. 841-845. ISSN 0888-4080

Disguising Superman: How Glasses Affect Unfamiliar Face Matching
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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


Could a simple pair of glasses really fool us into thinking Superman and Clark Kent are two different people? Here, we
investigated the perception of identity from face images with a task that relies on visual comparison rather than memory. Participants
were presented with two images simultaneously and were asked whether the images depicted the same person or two different
people. The image pairs showed neither image with glasses, both images with glasses, and ‘mixed’ pairs of one image
with and one without glasses. Participants’ accuracies, measured by both percentage correct and d′ sensitivity, were significantly
lower for ‘mixed’ trials. Analysis of response bias showed that when only one face wore glasses, people tended to respond ‘different’.
We demonstrate that glasses affect face matching ability using unconstrained images, and this has implications for both disguise
research and authenticating identity in the real world.

Keywords:Face Perception, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:24072
Deposited On:09 Sep 2016 15:09

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