Modeling Face Identification Processing in Children and Adults

Authors: Schwarzer, G.1; Massaro, D.W.2

Source: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Volume 79, Number 2, June 2001 , pp. 139-161(23)

Publisher: Academic Press

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Two face identification experiments were carried out to study whether and how children (5-year-olds) and adults integrate single facial features to identify faces. Using the paradigm of the Fuzzy Logical Model of Perception each experiment used the same expanded factorial design, with three levels of eyes variations crossed with three levels of mouth variations as well as their corresponding half-face conditions. In Experiment 1, an integration of facial features was observed in adults only. But, in adjusting the salience of the features varied, the results of Experiment 2 indicate that children and adults evaluated and integrated information from both features to identify a face. A weighted Fuzzy Logical Model of Perception fit the judgments significantly better than a Single Channel Model and questions previous claims of holistic face processing. Although no developmental differences in the stage of the integration of facial information were observable, differences between children and adults appeared in the information used for face identification.

Keywords: face perception; information processing; perceptual development.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany 2: University of California, Santa Cruz

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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