Stevenage, Sarah V.
Can caricatures really produce distinctiveness effects?
British Journal of Psychology, 86, .
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It has been shown that humans can remember faces of school mates over an interval of as long as 30 years (Bahrick, Bahrick & Wittlenger, 1975). One thing that may be crucial to the development of such a face capacity is the ability to encode the distinctive elements of a face. That is, the ability to identify the information that distinguishes a target face from some notion of an average face or central tendency. Distinctiveness has a well-documented effect on the ease with which a face is processed. Using faces that vary naturally in distinctiveness, it has been shown that the more atypical a face is the more likely it is to be correctly identified and the less likely it is to be mistakenly identified (Bartlett, Hurry & Thorley, 1984; Goldstein & Chance, 1981; Light, Kayra-Stuart & Hollander, 1979; Shepherd, Gibling & Ellis, 1991; Valentine & Bruce, 1986a; Winograd, 1981). Facial distinctiveness appears to confer a recognition advantage in such face recognition tasks.
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