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Distinctiveness, typicality, and recollective experience in face recognition: A principal components analysis.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1/01/2005
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Number of pages6
Original languageEnglish


In this study, participants rated previously unseen faces on six dimensions: familiarity, distinctiveness, attractiveness, memorability, typicality, and resemblance to a familiar person. The faces were then presented again in a recognition test in which participants assigned their positive recognition decisions to either remember (R), know (K), or guess categories. On all dimensions except typicality, faces that were categorized as R responses were associated with significantly higher ratings than were faces categorized as K responses. Study ratings for R and K responses were then subjected to a principal components analysis. The factor loadings suggested that R responses were influenced primarily by the distinctiveness of faces, but K responses were influenced by moderate ratings on all six dimensions. These findings indicate that the structural features of a face influence the subjective experience of recognition.

Bibliographic note

Hay supervised the data collection, conducted data analysis, and co-wrote the manuscript. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Psychology