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Recognizing faces swiftly and accurately is of paramount importance to humans as a social species. Individual differences in the ability to perform these tasks may therefore reflect important aspects of social or emotional intelligence. Although functional models of face cognition based on group and single case studies postulate multiple component processes, little is known about the ability structure underlying individual differences in face cognition. In 2 large individual differences experiments (N = 151 and N = 209), a broad variety of face-cognition tasks were tested and the component abilities of face cognition-face perception, face memory, and the speed of face cognition-were identified and then replicated. Experiment 2 also showed that the 3 face-cognition abilities are clearly distinct from immediate and delayed memory, mental speed, general cognitive ability, and object cognition. These results converge with functional and neuroanatomical models of face cognition by demonstrating the difference between face perception and face memory. The results also underline the importance of distinguishing between speed and accuracy of face cognition. Together our results provide a first step toward establishing face-processing abilities as an independent ability reflecting elements of social intelligence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of personality and social psychology
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The perceiving of attributes, characteristics, and behaviors of one's associates or social groups.
A personality trait rendering the individual acceptable in social or interpersonal relations. It is related to social acceptance, social approval, popularity, social status, leadership qualities, or any quality making him a socially desirable companion.
The use of community resources, individual case work, or group work to promote the adaptive capacities of individuals in relation to their social and economic environments. It includes social service agencies.
Selective perceiving such that the individual protects himself from becoming aware of something unpleasant or threatening, e.g., obscene words are not heard correctly, or violent acts are not seen accurately.
Procedures for recognizing individual animals and certain identifiable characteristics pertaining to them; includes computerized methods, ear tags, etc.