Solving the Border Control Problem: Evidence of Enhanced Face Matching in Individuals with Extraordinary Face Recognition Skills
Photographic identity documents (IDs) are commonly used despite clear evidence that unfamiliar face matching is a difficult and error-prone task. The current study set out to examine the performance of seven individuals with extraordinary face recognition memory, so called “super recognisers” (SRs), on two face matching tasks resembling border control identity checks. In Experiment 1, the SRs as a group outperformed control participants on the “Glasgow Face Matching Test”, and some case-by-case comparisons also reached significance. In Experiment 2, a perceptually difficult face matching task was used: the “Models Face Matching Test”. Once again, SRs outperformed controls both on group and mostly in case-by-case analyses. These findings suggest that SRs are considerably better at face matching than typical perceivers, and would make proficient personnel for border control agencies.