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Developing a Sufficient Knowledge Base for Faces: Implicit Recognition Memory for Distinctive versus Typical Female Faces

Best, Catherine A. (2005) Developing a Sufficient Knowledge Base for Faces: Implicit Recognition Memory for Distinctive versus Typical Female Faces. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Research on adults' face recognition abilities provides evidence for a distinctiveness effect such that distinctive faces are remembered better and more easily than typical faces. Research on this effect in the developmental literature is limited. In the current study, two experiments tested recognition memory for evidence of the distinctiveness effect. Study 1 tested infants (9- and 10-month olds) using a novelty preference paradigm. Infants were tested for immediate and delayed memory. Results indicated memory for only the most distinctive faces. Study 2 tested preschool children (3- and 4-year-olds) using an interactive story. Children were tested with an implicit (i.e. surprise) memory test. Results indicated a memory advantage for distinctive faces by three-year-old girls and four-year-old boys and girls. Contrary to traditional theories of changes in children's processing strategies, experience is also a critical factor in the development of face recognition abilities.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Best, Catherine A.cab2354@pitt.eduCAB2354
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairStrauss, Mark Sstrauss@pitt.eduSTRAUSS
Committee MemberJohnson, Carl N
Committee MemberIverson, Jana M
Date: 2 February 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 30 November 2004
Approval Date: 2 February 2005
Submission Date: 10 December 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: face recognition; infants; preschool children; typicality
Other ID:, etd-12102004-100406
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:10
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:54


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