Super-recognisers show an advantage for other race face identification

David J. Robertson, Jennifer Black, Bethany Chamberlain, Ahmed M. Megreya, Josh P. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


The accurate identification of an unfamiliar individual from a face photo is a critical factor in several applied situations (e.g., border control). Despite this, matching faces to photographic ID is highly prone to error. In lieu of effective training measures, which could reduce face matching errors, the selection of “super-recognisers” (SRs) provides the most promising route to combat misidentification or fraud. However, to date, super-recognition has been defined and tested using almost exclusively “ownrace” face memory and matching tests. Here, across three studies, we test Caucasian participants' performance on own- and other-race face identification tasks (GFMT, MFMT, CFMT+, EFMT, CFMT-Chinese). Our findings show that compared to controls, high-performing typical recognisers (Studies 1 and 2) and SRs (Study 3) show superior performance on both the own- and other-race tests. These findings suggest that recruiting SRs in ethnically diverse applied settings could be advantageous.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Early online date13 Nov 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Nov 2019


  • face recognition
  • unfamiliar face matching
  • individual differences
  • super-recogniser
  • identity verification


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