Monday, December 5, 2016

I See You, Baby

Like this image? I made it! There's more where this came from on my Instagram.

Hey, guess what? I'm a Super-Recognizer. THAT'S RIGHT I HAVE A SUPERPOWER. Or that's what I'm going with, anyway...

Here's what happened. Last week I saw a link from Scientific American in my Twitter feed, to this not-really-flattering post: "Super-Recognizers Lurk Among Us: Some people are so good at recognizing faces that it's downright creepy". Naturally, I needed to go and discover any more clues I might find to help me calculate my potential "downright creepy factor," which is IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

I learned that "In 2009, psychological scientist Richard Russell and his colleagues first used the term super-recognizer to describe four participants in a study they conducted. According to the conclusions of the study, 'our findings demonstrate the existence of people with exceptionally good face recognition ability and show that the range of face recognition and face perception ability is wider than has been previously acknowledged.'"

The post linked to some online tests posted by researchers, and I took the "short teaser test" linked on that page. I did pretty well, but was a bit disappointed to get only 10 out of 14 on it. Then there was a request at the end to leave contact information, if I was interested in participating in more online research, but it said that they might take a while to contact me. So I left my email address, thinking I might hear from them someday. I had an email from them in my inbox the next morning, inviting me to take a series of their other tests. I went and took the heck out of those tests. After I was done, an hour later, I got some information about how I did. 

First, it said that "the 14-trial 'fun" test is not diagnostic of true face recognition ability- we have found that a few super-recognisers (as measured by follow up tests) score as low as 10 out of 14".

Then it showed the results of the four other tests. Three of those tested facial recognition, and one was about recognizing images of guitars. I did the worst on guitars, ending up below the top 50% of people tested, but I did the best on the Cambridge Face Memory Test, a long one where I scored 96% correct, putting me in the top 5% of those tested. 

This will have practically no impact on my life going forward, other than confirming that once I meet someone, I remember their face and where I met them. I already knew that. Combined with making a point of remembering names, I am slightly impressive at parties sometimes. I thought you might like to know. ;)

Why am I even writing this down? Well, I watched an interview of Seth Godin recently, and he made a convincing case for blogging every day. Between that and ideas I've gotten about communicating more, from Austin Kleon, this blog is about to get much more random. I'm going to SHARE MY THOUGHTS, y'all. 

1 comment:

  1. Now you can be a super spy, instantly recognizing other spies and evil doers out of a crowd.