Super Recognizer Face Test

From Daily 

Are YOU a ‘super recogniser’?

Take the test to see if you are one of an elite group of people who never forget a face

I found some interesting problems when I took the test, which may shed light on Asperger “learning” problems.

Read more:

University of Greenwich – Sample Test


This is the answer page: having previously seen one (of these faces) for 8 seconds, can you identify that face in a lineup?

Here’s the problem:

  1. My immediate reaction was to click on the FACE itself. This seems efficient and correct for a VISUAL TASK. Switching back and forth from visual mode to number mode is not necessary to the function of the test.
  2. I saw the numbers but ignored them, because the arrangement is quite confusing; this is a distraction.
  3. There is a progress bar at the bottom (difficult to see here) which spans 0% to 100% – of what? No label. My mind assumed it registered that you had answered the question and you could move on. Wrong! It tracks time.
  4. I got a score of ZERO because none of my selections were registered. The TEST ITSELF may “weed out” the very people (visual thinkers) that the test is trying to find!

Equipped with the correct procedure, I tried again.

1. Observe a single face for 8 seconds (automatic timer)

2. Identify that face from a group of eight: find the number assigned to that face; find the circle assigned that number, and then click the circle. (!!!) How silly.

3. This is so bizarre to me: the point of the test is to find individuals who are “super recognizers” for university research and also to help security agencies to track down “suspects” using surveillance videos and photos. The number-circle regime is an irrelevant artifact. Only the faces matter. If one insists on the number-circle cliché of standard tests, why not at least arrange them so that they are associated directly with the face? Not only are they not, but placing the numbers above the faces is confusing, or perhaps British convention?  This places the 5-6-7-8 sequence halfway between the rows of faces, and distant from the circle-number answer rows at the bottom. (This may be an instant of copying “paper tests” to digital media without redesigning the format for computer test-takers.)

4. It is easy to click #5 instead of #1, etc.

5. Obviously, the way to record an answer quickly and without loosing the flow of visual processing is to simply click on the correct face! If someone must have circles to click, why not put them to the right of, or under, the photo? If one simply cannot live without numbers attached, place the number inside the circle.

I’m sure that many people will consider this analysis idiotic and obsessive, but this is what I did as a textbook designer, graphic designer and Art Director. What are you trying to achieve? That was the first question I asked the client. Usually we had to go through a laundry list of distractions, irrelevancies and subordinate thoughts before identifying the task that underpinned them all. Visual presentations have their own logic and structure.

In this case, if the University of Greenwich were my client, I would tell them that the unnecessary complication of recording answers by number is likely causing some “super recognizers” to loose “points” and since “super recognizers” are rare, they ought to remove anything that gets in the way of identifying them.










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