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Greenwich Super-Recognisers

Supervisor: Dr Josh P Davis

Applied Psychology Research Group

University of Greenwich

Old Royal Naval College,

Park Row


SE10 9LS

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  • Josh Davis

Black Face Recognition Test (BFRT) for South African Project

Nikolay Petrov and Josh P Davis (University of Greenwich)

February 2020 Project: Results

Thanks to everyone who took part in this project. If you have your e-mail with your scores on this project on hand you should be able to compare them with the full list of participants who competed this research. The main aim of this project was to pilot test a brand new Black Face Recognition Test (BFRT), for a South African project, and to see how scores compared with those on the Cambridge Face Memory Test: Extended (CFMT+) (Russell, Duchaine, & Nakayama, 2009) and the Glasgow Face Matching Test (GFMT) (Burton, White, & McNeill, 2010). This gives us better insight into the other-race effect in face recognition, which suggests that “identifying a person from a different ethnic group results in even poorer performance [compared to identifying a person within one’s own ethnic group]” (Robertson Black, Chamberlain, Megreya, & Davis, 2020, p. 206). A summary of this research can be found in this article by David Robertson, Ahmed Megreya, and Josh Davis in the Conversation (Robertson, Megreya, & Davis, 2020).

In total, 219 volunteers completed the test (aged 16-74 years, M = 38.8, SD = 10.4, male = 75, female = 144, white = 120, black = 28, other = 71). We were able to match all but 2 (duplicate responses) of those participants with their original scores on the CFMT+ and the GFMT stored on our database. Therefore, data from 217 participants are reported here. Table 1 displays median and mean scores on each test.

To see how you scored against the other participants, Figure 1 displays the frequency of total scores for the BFRT. Table 2 displays the Spearman’s correlation coefficients between total scores on each test, while scatter diagrams in Figure 2 visually display the relationships between each test.

As can be seen, although the scores on the CFMT+ and GFMT were generally extraordinarily high, scores on the BFRT varied substantially, and as the majority of participants were not of black ethnicity, this provides further support for the other-race effect.


Burton, A. M., White, D., & McNeill, A. (2010). The Glasgow face matching test. Behavior Research Methods, 42(1), 286-291. DOI: 10.3758/BRM.42.1.286

Robertson, D. J., Black, J., Chamberlain, B., Megreya, A. M., & Davis, J. P. (2020). Super‐recognisers show an advantage for other race face identification. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 34(1), 205-216. (pre-print here). DOI: 10.1002/acp.3608

Robertson, D. J., Megreya, A., & Davis, J.P. (2020, January 10). Facial recognition: research reveals new abilities of ‘super-recognisers’. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/facial-recognition-research-reveals-new-abilities-of-super-recognisers-128414

Russell, R., Duchaine, B., & Nakayama, K. (2009). Super-recognizers: People with extraordinary face recognition ability. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16(2), 252-257. DOI: 10.3758/PBR.16.2.252

Download PDF here.