Super-recognisers show an advantage for other race face identification

Robertson, David J. and Black, Jennifer and Chamberlain, Bethany and Megreya, Ahmed M. and Davis, Josh P. (2019) Super-recognisers show an advantage for other race face identification. Applied Cognitive Psychology. ISSN 0888-4080

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    Abstract

    The accurate identification of an unfamiliar individual from a face photo is a critical factor in several applied situations (e.g., border control). Despite this, matching faces to photographic ID is highly prone to error. In lieu of effective training measures, which could reduce face matching errors, the selection of “super-recognisers” (SRs) provides the most promising route to combat misidentification or fraud. However, to date, super-recognition has been defined and tested using almost exclusively “ownrace” face memory and matching tests. Here, across three studies, we test Caucasian participants' performance on own- and other-race face identification tasks (GFMT, MFMT, CFMT+, EFMT, CFMT-Chinese). Our findings show that compared to controls, high-performing typical recognisers (Studies 1 and 2) and SRs (Study 3) show superior performance on both the own- and other-race tests. These findings suggest that recruiting SRs in ethnically diverse applied settings could be advantageous.