Viewers base estimates of face matching accuracy on their own familiarity: explaining the photo-ID paradox

Ritchie, Kay L., Smith, Finlay G., Jenkins, Rob , Bindemann, Markus, White, David and Burton, A. Mike (2015) Viewers base estimates of face matching accuracy on their own familiarity: explaining the photo-ID paradox. Cognition, 141 . pp. 161-169. ISSN 0010-0277

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Matching two different images of a face is a very easy task for familiar viewers, but much
harder for unfamiliar viewers. Despite this, use of photo-ID is widespread, and people
appear not to know how unreliable it is. We present a series of experiments investigating
bias both when performing a matching task and when predicting other people’s
performance. Participants saw pairs of faces and were asked to make a same/different
judgement, after which they were asked to predict how well other people, unfamiliar with
these faces, would perform. In four experiments we show different groups of participants
familiar and unfamiliar faces, manipulating this in different ways: celebrities in experiments
1–3 and personally familiar faces in experiment 4. The results consistently show
that people match images of familiar faces more accurately than unfamiliar faces.
However, people also reliably predict that the faces they themselves know will be more
accurately matched by different viewers. This bias is discussed in the context of current
theoretical debates about face recognition, and we suggest that it may underlie the
continued use of photo-ID, despite the availability of evidence about its unreliability.

Keywords:Face Perception, bmjconvert, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:32394
Deposited On:07 Aug 2018 14:29

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