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Differences between and within individuals, and subprocesses of face cognition: implications for theory, research and personnel selection

Fysh, Matthew C., Stacchi, Lisa, Ramon, Meike (2020) Differences between and within individuals, and subprocesses of face cognition: implications for theory, research and personnel selection. Royal Society Open Science, 7 (9). Article Number 200233. ISSN 2054-5703. (doi:10.1098/rsos.200233) (KAR id:84688)

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Recent investigations of individual differences have demonstrated striking variability in performance both within the same subprocess in face cognition (e.g. face perception), but also between two different subprocesses (i.e. face perception versus face recognition) that are assessed using different tasks (face matching versus face memory). Such differences between and within individuals between and within laboratory tests raise practical challenges. This applies in particular to the development of screening tests for the selection of personnel in real-world settings where faces are routinely processed, such as at passport control. The aim of this study, therefore, was to examine the performance profiles of individuals within and across two different subprocesses of face cognition: face perception and face recognition. To this end, 146 individuals completed four different tests of face matching—one novel tool for assessing proficiency in face perception, as well as three established measures—and two benchmark tests of face memory probing face recognition. In addition to correlational analyses, we further scrutinized individual performance profiles of the highest and lowest performing observers identified per test, as well as across all tests. Overall, a number of correlations emerged between tests. However, there was limited evidence at the individual level to suggest that high proficiency in one test generalized to other tests measuring the same subprocess, as well as those that measured a different subprocess. Beyond emphasizing the need to honour inter-individual differences through careful multivariate assessment in the laboratory, our findings have real-world implications: combinations of tests that most accurately map the task(s) and processes of interest are required for personnel selection.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1098/rsos.200233
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Matthew Fysh
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2020 16:21 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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