Differences in Ability of Facial and Object Image Recognition and Its Suggestibility by Image Rotation

Topics: Wilcoxon signed-rank test, Statistical significance, Face Pages: 18 (2947 words) Published: April 17, 2013
Differences in ability of facial and object image recognition and its suggestibility by image rotation

The ability of face and object image recognition and it s suggestibility by image rotation was examined on first year Psychology students of University of London
a series of images including faces and objects where 50% of the images were inverted.
quickly as possible. This performance was measured and recorded by the “experimenter”
from the pair. H1 – Participants will perform poorer
(less accurate and slower) at recognising images of inverted faces in comparison to images of upright faces. H2 – Inversion of the images will have greater effect on recognition of faces rather than on objects. Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests revealed significant difference for both H1 and H2 one-tailed hypotheses (p< .0001). Descriptive statistics and bar charts revealed the direction of these differences. These findings are congruent with previous studies although causations of these phenomena are difficult to suggest due to poor understanding of these processes. Direction of further research was suggested to focus on these processes.

The recognition of faces and the processes behind this phenomenon has greatly intrigued psychologists over the past several decades. If we consider the fact that there are over 6.6 billion people on the planet and no two faces are exactly the same, it suggests how subtle differences differentiate one from another. It seems that the human brain has developed sensitivity particularly to facial features. But do we recognise faces as a whole or as a set of individual features? And more importantly, does remembering, recognising and processing of faces differ from the processing and remembering of objects? Several great studies have attempted to understand this phenomenon. Because the ability to recognise faces and objects seemed almost identical under normal conditions, scientist started to manipulate the visual stimuli to enhance these perceptual differences if there were any (Gross, 2007).

Kohler (1940), and a number of recent authors have demonstrated that faces are particularly difficult to recognise when upside down, whereas recognition of inverted objects is almost as good as upright ones. Yin (1969) compared how participants were able to recognise photographs of faces presented upright and upside-down. Yin also measured recognition of familiar objects such as a car, an aeroplane, a man in motion, a house etc. Participants were first presented with the images in order to memorise them. Some of the images were upright and some were inverted. The same images were used in the experiment either the same way as initially presented or inverted. The results of his study revealed that participants found the recognition of faces the easiest in the upright condition. But when presented with inverted images, the faces were the more difficult to recognise. The recognition ability dropped substantially if the images of the faces were inverted in either initial or experimental or both conditions. These findings were confirmed in several later studies by Scapinello and Yarmey (1971). These intriguing findings initiated further research to find whether faces are the only stimuli affected by inversion. Rock (1973) found one

class of stimuli even more affected by inversion than faces. These were handwritten words. Upon comparing the ability to recognise these stimuli, the results revealed that: 71% of well known faces presented upright were identified and only 12% when presented upside down. The handwriting was recognised by 86% when upright and 9% when inverted. These findings suggested that the recognition of faces and handwriting might have something in common unlike the recognition of...
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