Thursday, September 25, 2014

am I a super-recognizer?

Thanks to Malcolm, who recently published a smorgasbord of links, I took this facial-recognition test and got the following results:

69 out of what, eh?

The site says, on the test-results page, that the team is still gathering data and thus has no way, at present, of interpreting the collected information. I'll venture a guess, though, as to what these test results might be saying about one's personality: if the question is, "To what degree do you treat people as unique individuals?", then I think this test might actually provide some relevant data. The ability to recognize difference and uniqueness among faces is a sign of a person's willingness, I think, to treat those people as special individuals—to see the Other as human, and not merely as a member of a group, tribe, or other category. To understand what I mean, think for a moment about the inability to distinguish one face from another—to see all people as merely "faces in a crowd," as tokens of a type, each bleeding unrecognizably into the next, with no real separation or differentiation.

I'm not all that good at associating names with faces, though, and that fact could be damaging to my hypothesis. I normally need to see a face and hear a name several times before I finally begin to be able to name people that I meet (this is a problem when it comes to memorizing my students' names).

Perhaps that ought to be the next phase of this study: a test not only of facial recognition but also of name-recall and name-association (i.e., putting a name to a face). It might also be worthwhile to do the test, not so much with computer-generated faces shown in artificial lighting conditions as with actual human faces shown in natural lighting conditions.

One wonders what all of this is leading up to.



Rhesus said...

Whatever it's leading up to, be sure that it will eventually be utilized for marketing.

Also got 69, which must be a personal outlier.

Kevin Kim said...


Good point re: marketing. And congrats on being a member of the elite!