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      Applied screening tests for the detection of superior face recognition

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          Abstract

          In recent years there has been growing interest in the identification of people with superior face recognition skills, for both theoretical and applied investigations. These individuals have mostly been identified via their performance on a single attempt at a tightly controlled test of face memory—the long form of the Cambridge Face Memory Test (CFMT+). The consistency of their skills over a range of tests, particularly those replicating more applied policing scenarios, has yet to be examined systematically. The current investigation screened 200 people who believed they have superior face recognition skills, using the CFMT+ and three new, more applied tests (measuring face memory, face matching and composite-face identification in a crowd). Of the sample, 59.5% showed at least some consistency in superior face recognition performance, although only five individuals outperformed controls on overall indices of target-present and target-absent trials. Only one participant outperformed controls on the Crowds test, suggesting that some applied face recognition tasks require very specific skills. In conclusion, future screening protocols need to be suitably thorough to test for consistency in performance, and to allow different types of superior performer to be detected from the outset. Screening for optimal performers may sometimes need to directly replicate the task in question, taking into account target-present and target-absent performance. Self-selection alone is not a reliable means of identifying those at the top end of the face recognition spectrum.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (10.1186/s41235-018-0116-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 66

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              Thirty years of investigating the own-race bias in memory for faces: A meta-analytic review.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                sbate@bournemouth.ac.uk
                cfrowd1@uclan.ac.uk
                rachel.bennetts@brunel.ac.uk
                nabil.hasshim@gmail.com
                emurray@bournemouth.ac.uk
                a.k.bobak@stir.ac.uk
                harrietwills94@gmail.com
                sarah9309@live.com
                Journal
                Cogn Res Princ Implic
                Cogn Res Princ Implic
                Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                2365-7464
                27 June 2018
                27 June 2018
                December 2018
                : 3
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0728 4630, GRID grid.17236.31, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science and Technology, , Bournemouth University, ; Fern Barrow, Poole, UK
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2167 3843, GRID grid.7943.9, School of Psychology, , University of Central Lancashire, ; Preston, UK
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2171 1133, GRID grid.4868.2, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, , Queen Mary, University of London, ; London, UK
                Article
                116
                10.1186/s41235-018-0116-5
                6019417
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000286, British Academy;
                Award ID: MD170004
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Original Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2018

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