Why (and how) Superman hides behind glasses: the difficulties of face matching

Ritchie, Kay L. and Kramer, Robin S. S. (2016) Why (and how) Superman hides behind glasses: the difficulties of face matching. Journal of Geek Studies, 3 (2). pp. 12-16. ISSN 2359-3024

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As a mild-mannered reporter, Clark Kent is able to blend into human society without drawing much attention to himself. Although he utilises several methods of disguise (clothing, posture, hair style), perhaps his most famous is a simple pair of glasses (see Figure 1). We know that wearing glasses can make you look more educated and intelligent (e.g., Hellström & Tekle, 1994), but for Superman, the goal is primarily to hide his true identity. Of course, one of the cornerstones of enjoying superhero fiction is that we suspend our disbelief and try to ignore the obvious questions (for example, how useful or plausible is it that Squirrel Girl can communicate with and understand squirrels?!). However, the scientist inside us sometimes breaks through and we are given the opportunity to investigate. Here, we tackle the question that comic book fans have been asking for decades – could Superman really hide his identity using a pair of glasses?

Keywords:Face Perception, JCOpen
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:24365
Deposited On:06 Oct 2016 08:34

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