Essay, Pages 2 (476 words)
Face recognition is a difficult visual representation task in large part because it requires differentiating among objects which vary only subtly from each other. This particular face recognition study was expected to suggest that people recognise inverted faces less accurately than upright faces.
The study involved sixty different faces observed on a computer screen by a sample of first-year university students. Hypothesis:
The hypothesis for this study stated that it is expected that people recognise inverted faces less accurately than upright faces. The null hypothesis stated that there would be no difference in the amount of faces recognised regardless of whether they were upright or inverted and that if there was to be any difference that it would be down to chance.
The sample used consisted of 15 first-year psychology students of mixed ages. Gender or race held no significance for this study.
The psychology students used participated in the experiment in there seminar groups at allocated times throughout a timetabled week.
Materials: The materials used for this study consisted of the e-pro computer programme which was used in order to display the faces required for the experiment. Furthermore, the results of the study were interpreted using the SPSS computer software. Procedure: For the first part of the experiment, sixty faces, thirty of which were upright and thirty of which were inverted were displayed on a computer creen for two seconds per face. After each participant had viewed the full sixty faces, a distracter task was then issued to them in order to remove any short-term memory effects on facial recognition.
The distracter task consisted of a series of personal questions and lasted for roughly five minutes. Upon completion of the distracter task, the second part of the experiment took place. During the second phase of the experiment, sixty of the previous faces were shown alongside a set of sixty new faces.
Participants were asked to say whether or not they recognised the faces from the earlier stage of the task. Results: The mean number of recognised inverted faces was 0. 67 with a standard deviation of 0. 07. The mean number of recognised upright faces was 0. 74 with a standard deviation of 0. 05 ? Figure 1 shows the mean value for facial recognition of upright faces to be significantly higher than that of inverted faces: t(14) = 3. 55, p= 0. 03
Figure 1: Mean values of facial recognition for inverted and upright faces. Discussion: The results recorded from this study suggest that our hypothesis that people recognise inverted faces less accurately than upright faces may be correct. However, to be more certain that our hypothesis is accurate, it should be ensured that the experiment is repeated and that in this instance is counter-balanced across the whole sample of first-year psychology students collectively and not just within their seminar groups.