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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Face Blindness

   
Author Topic: Face Blindness
SenojRetep
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On Andrew Gelman's blog, he has a post on his own struggles with identifying faces. In the post he links to an online survey (the "Cambridge Face Memory Test") that tests ability to memorize and recognize faces under various pose angles.

The test seems to have some academic aspirations (I didn't even cursorily look over the site, so I don't know if it's connected with a reputable University in any way). But the test was (for me at least) fairly painless.

My results:
quote:
Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 67.
In other words, you got 93% correct.

which is followed with the contextual information
quote:
On our previous version of this test, the average person with normal face recognition was able to recognize about 80% of the faces. If you correctly identified less than 65% of the faces, this may indicate face recognition difficulties.
(Gelman got 42/72 = 58%).
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Shanna
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Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 50.
In other words, you got 69% correct.

I'm terrible at recognizing faces and remembering names. If even a few months pass without seeing a friend or coworker, I won't recognize them right away. I have to listen for their voice and wait for them to make some sort of conversational clue that reminds me that we've met before.

But that may have more to do with the discomfort I feel looking into people's faces. I even felt uncomfortable for the first half of the test, like looking at a two-way mirror and having remind myself that no one is looking back at me.

I'm actually surprised that I didn't completely fail the test. I was pretty sure I would after they started playing with the color pixelation. It got easier after a few rounds, but at first I felt like I might as well be staring at a completely black screen.

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Lisa
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I did fairly well:
quote:
Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 70.
In other words, you got 97% correct.

On the subject of face blindness, when I was a kid, Martin Caidin had written a book called Cyborg, which was the basis for The Six Million Dollar Man. He subsequently wrote a few SMDM novels as well. And on the cover of each, there's a drawing of a man's face. Here's a link.

When I brought this book home, one of my sisters asked me, "But who is that on the cover?" And I was confused, because it was obviously Steve Austin. When I told her that, she told me I was crazy. I asked my brother and my other sister, and got the same answer. And then my mother, who is a freaking artist, told me, "Maybe there's a slight resemblance, but not much."

So I'm curious. Does anyone else think that picture looks like Lee Majors in that show?

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Juxtapose
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Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 60.
In other words, you got 83% correct.

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advice for robots
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Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 67.
In other words, you got 93% correct.


I'm actually surprised. Faces tend to run together for me until my brain has had time to sort them out. I would have done much worse if they hadn't had all the "practice" rounds at first.

I found myself assigning each face with a tag, like the "Slavic" one and the "fat" one.

I'm terrible at remembering colors.

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Dr Strangelove
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I think I got 81%. When it asked me how I thought I was, I said average, and it looks like I was right.
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maui babe
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Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 66.
In other words, you got 92% correct.

I found it helpful to give each of the six faces a name or a personality... one reminded me of Orlando Bloom, another looked like he was a fighter...

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mr_porteiro_head
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Huh. In the questionnaire, I said that I'm below average. But I got 90% correct.
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Lisa
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One of the faces actually bore a remarkable resemblance to Mary Louise Parker.
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Sala
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Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 52.
In other words, you got 72% correct.

I thought I was below average, and I'm just a bit below. I can almost never identify an actor from one show in another show, especially if the clothing or hair style is really different. It's usually the mouth that I recognize first, and when it was pixelated in the test the mouth features were really hard to identify.

Lisa, I'm with you, definitely Steve Austin!

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Xavier
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I got 94%. Not too shabby. I went pretty fast near the end since I got bored.
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rollainm
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"Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 33."

I'm not surprised. I've always been horrible at facial recognition. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned here before that I was born with a tumor that consumed literally the entire right side of my brain. This is clearly one function it wasn't really able to compensate for.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Huh. In the questionnaire, I said that I'm below average.

Ditto, except I got 85%. So apparently I am slightly more self-aware than you. [Wink]
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TomDavidson
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71 of 72, here. I wonder which one I missed.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Sala:
Lisa, I'm with you, definitely Steve Austin!

Thank you!
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Huh. In the questionnaire, I said that I'm below average.

Ditto, except I got 85%. So apparently I am slightly more self-aware than you. [Wink]
Heh. An alternate theory that explains my results is that I was actively paying attention to faces for the test, but I generally don't pay much attention to faces at all.
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rollainm
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
71 of 72, here. I wonder which one I missed.

Ugh. And you wonder why no one likes you.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
71 of 72, here. I wonder which one I missed.

I pretty much raced through it. And there were two that I wasn't sure about, so those are probably the two I missed.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by rollainm:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
71 of 72, here. I wonder which one I missed.

Ugh. And you wonder why no one likes you.
Huh?
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rollainm
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Perhaps a smiley was in order.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Huh. In the questionnaire, I said that I'm below average.

Ditto, except I got 85%. So apparently I am slightly more self-aware than you. [Wink]
Heh. An alternate theory that explains my results is that I was actively paying attention to faces for the test, but I generally don't pay much attention to faces at all.
I do pay attention; I just have lousy recall of them. The test was immediately after, which probably helped.
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maui babe
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
quote:
Originally posted by Sala:
Lisa, I'm with you, definitely Steve Austin!

Thank you!
I agree, I see Lee Majors as Steve Austin in that picture. But maybe your family members were thinking of this Steve Austin? (Who I only heard of a week or so ago when I was watching a DVD of Chuck.)
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sinflower
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74%. Figures. I put "somewhat below average" but I was hoping I could scrape by with an average. Oh well, I'm happy enough with this score, I've scored zero on "recognize changes in this image" type online visual memory tests before so I know something's kooky in that department of my brain. I don't have very much mental imaging capacity.
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Uprooted
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Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 65.
In other words, you got 90% correct.

I'm surprised it was that high. I'm exhausted, and several times I had no idea. When they had me review the 6 faces the second time, I had no memory of one of the faces at all.

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Belle
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I got 74% as well. I always struggle learning the names of my students, so I'm not surprised I'm a bit below average.
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ElJay
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Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 58.
In other words, you got 81% correct.

I put below average, but it said average was 80%, so I guess I'm actually smack on. I also got bored and stopped caring, though.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
I always struggle learning the names of my students

Ditto! Apparently, I'd do ok if the school year was like 10 minutes long. [Wink]
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Eisenoxyde
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Looks like I scored the lowest so far, 46/72 (64%). I've always been horrible with names and faces so this didn't surprise me at all.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by maui babe:
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
quote:
Originally posted by Sala:
Lisa, I'm with you, definitely Steve Austin!

Thank you!
I agree, I see Lee Majors as Steve Austin in that picture. But maybe your family members were thinking of this Steve Austin? (Who I only heard of a week or so ago when I was watching a DVD of Chuck.)
I don't think so. That Steve Austin is a year and a half younger than me, and I was in junior high at the time.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
Huh. In the questionnaire, I said that I'm below average.

Ditto, except I got 85%. So apparently I am slightly more self-aware than you. [Wink]
Heh. An alternate theory that explains my results is that I was actively paying attention to faces for the test, but I generally don't pay much attention to faces at all.
I do pay attention; I just have lousy recall of them. The test was immediately after, which probably helped.
I'd like to see a follow-up, where they email you the next day and you go in and do the identifications without them showing you the six faces again. I probably wouldn't score a 70 again, but I'd be surprised if I got fewer than 90% of them right.
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Sa'eed
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I got 71 out of 72 as well. I would say "once I see a face I never forget it" but that is evidently not true. =(
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Lisa
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I'm having some serious self-esteem issues having scored similarly to both Tom and Sa'eed.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Face Bidness
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Jon Boy
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I got 89 percent, but I was really tired last night when I took it. I might have done a little better if I hadn't been.
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Teshi
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I am amazed. I guessed so many of those but I got 85%.

But then, perhaps I shouldn't be amazed. A lot of my problem isn't recognizing that I've seen you before, it's figuring out who the heck you are. I often have no idea where I know you from, although I'll recognize you, no problem.

I learn names pretty fast, especially when I figure out what your distinguishing characteristic is. If I have a lot of blonde boys together, for example, I have issues telling them apart. If they look like someone I already know, that helps because I can remember who they are in relation to the other person whose name I have learnt.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
A lot of my problem isn't recognizing that I've seen you before, it's figuring out who the heck you are. I often have no idea where I know you from, although I'll recognize you, no problem.

You know, that's true for me too. Good point.
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The Pixiest
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Somehow I got a 90% on this even though I'm almost totally face blind.

The other day I was talking about someone in the third person (who I'd known for like 2 years) when I realized (via the context of the conversation) that that was the person I was talking to...

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T:man
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Out of 72 faces, you correctly identified 54.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
quote:
Originally posted by Sala:
Lisa, I'm with you, definitely Steve Austin!

Thank you!
I agree!
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
quote:
Originally posted by Sala:
Lisa, I'm with you, definitely Steve Austin!

Thank you!
I agree!
Agreed
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