Super-recognisers show an advantage for other-race faces

David Robertson, Jennifer Black, Bethany Chamberlain, Ahmed M. Megreya and Josh P. Davis

A large body of research demonstrates that most humans are better at recognising the faces of people from their own ethnicity/race than those from other races/ethnicities. This cross-race effect is believed to be driven by exposure and/or contact, although the effect has had serious negative connotations. A large number of overturned wrongful convictions have been linked to cross-race misidentifications by honest eyewitnesses from a different race to the defendant.

On the other hand, super-recognisers tend to be better at face recognition tasks than people with typical range abilities. In this collaborative paper published in Applied Cognitive Psychology with David Robertson, Jennifer Black, and Bethany Chamberlain from Strathclyde University, Ahmed Megreya from Qatar University, and Josh P Davis from the University of Greenwich we show that super-recognisers are able to transfer this advantage to other-race faces (Egyptian in this case).

The paper is open access, and free to view in early view here:

Robertson, D., Black, J., Chamberlain, B., Megreya, A. M., & Davis, J. P. (early view). Super-recognisers show an advantage for other race face identification Applied Cognitive Psychology, DOI: 10.1002/acp.3608

As noted in the paper: We would like to thank Dr. Stephen Butler, Ario Pellegrini Frugone, Lauren Gilmour, and Daisy Thomas for their help with data collection in Studies 2 and 3 and to the participants of the University of Greenwich Super-Recogniser database for their ongoing support for this research.