Not the norm: Face likeness is not the same as similarity to familiar face prototypes

Balas, Benjamin, Sandford, Adam and Ritchie, Kay (2023) Not the norm: Face likeness is not the same as similarity to familiar face prototypes. i-Perception, 14 (3). p. 204166952311713. ISSN 2041-6695

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Not the norm: Face likeness is not the same as similarity to familiar face prototypes
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Face images depicting the same individual can differ substantially from one another. Ecological variation in pose, expression, lighting, and other sources of appearance variability complicates the recognition and matching of unfamiliar faces, but acquired familiarity leads to the ability to cope with these challenges. Among the many ways that face of the same individual can vary, some images are judged to be better likenesses of familiar individuals than others. Simply put, these images look more like the individual under consideration than others. But what does it mean for an image to be a better likeness than another? Does likeness entail typicality, or is it something distinct from this? We examined the relationship between the likeness of face images and the similarity of those images to average images of target individuals using a set of famous faces selected for reciprocal familiarity/unfamiliarity across US and UK participants. We found that though likeness judgments are correlated with similarity-to-prototype judgments made by both familiar and unfamiliar participants, this correlation was smaller than the correlation between similarity judgments made by different participant groups. This implies that while familiarity weakens the relationship between likeness and similarity-to-prototype judgments, it does not change similarity-to-prototype judgments to the same degree.

Keywords:face perception, social cognition, familiarity, face likeness
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:54789
Deposited On:06 Jun 2023 10:00

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