Recognition memory for typical and unusual faces

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Abstract

The 1st of 5 experiments with a total of 219 males verified the reliability of studies by M. Going and J. Read (see record 1976-21716-001) and by M. Cohen and W. Carr (see record 1976-06144-001) using pictures of male high school seniors whose faces had been explicitly rated as to typicality. Exps III and IV examined the hypothesis that the typicality effect is due to differential depth of processing of typical and unusual faces. In Exps IV, recognition memory for faces rated as similar to a prototype was found to be inferior to memory for faces rated as unusual in appearance. This result was obtained under both incidental and intentional learning conditions, at presentation rates ranging from 3 to 15 sec, and with retention intervals from 3 to 24 hrs. Exp V established interitem similarity as the structural basis of this typicality effect in recognition memory. Difficulties in interpreting the findings in terms of some current models for classification learning, depth of processing models, or present models of the word frequency effect are discussed. (43 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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