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"I'm terrible at recognizing faces!" - Investigating the effect of individuals’ perceived facial recognition ability on their actual ability to recognise faces

By Louise Hall


The full text of this dissertation is available only to University of Leicester members. Please log in with your CFS username and password when prompted.The present study used an experimental paradigm to investigate whether individuals’ perceptions of their own ability to recognise faces affects their actual memory for faces. It was hypothesised that people who are led to believe that they are poor at recognising faces will perform badly on a face recognition test. Participants (n=59) studied a series of photographs of faces in phase one of the study. In the second phase of the study, participants were given false-feedback regarding their ability to remember faces on a bogus face-recognition task. Specifically, participants completed a face matching task and were subsequently told that they performed either worse than average, better than average, or received no feedback regarding their performance. In the final phase of the study, participants took an old/new recognition test which tested their memory for faces presented in phase 1. Memory performance on the recognition test was measured using signal detection parameters and response time. A significant effect of feedback was found, indicating that individuals who received feedback (either positive or negative) adopted a more conservative decision criterion than those who received no feedback. Individuals who were better able to discriminate the target from the lures showed quicker response times on both target-present and target-absent trials.University of Leiceste

Year: 2010
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