Taking the Matching Faces Test

Last year we took the Famous Faces test to demonstrate how faceblindness works. Famous Faces is somewhat flawed because if you aren’t familiar with most of the celebrities in the test, it gives a less than accurate measure of how good you are recognizing faces.

This week’s test is a better gauge of faceblindness or prosopagnosia. The Matching Faces in Photographs test at Test My Brain is being used by researchers to understand the difference between how we recognize standardized versions of faces under ideal conditions versus how we recognize faces in changing conditions. For example, if you recognize your chemistry professor by his beard and glasses and the fact that you generally encounter him in the chem lab building, you may or may not recognize him at the beach in swim trunks and baseball cap, especially if he’s clean-shaven and not wearing his glasses.

Often, people with prosopagnosia rely on hairstyle, facial hair, glasses, voice, mannerisms, gait, or other “auxiliary” features to identify friends and acquaintances. Some people are mildly faceblind, meaning they recognize close friends and family quite easily but struggle with quickly identifying acquaintances if we meet them “out of context.” Others have difficulty recognizing everyone, even close family members, and may not recognize their own reflection right away. 

Prosopagnosia can create embarrassing social moments and those of us who are more than a little faceblind have come up with all sorts of tricks to disguise our confusion. For example, when I’m introduced to someone, I always say “Good to see you,” never “Nice to meet you.” That way, if I’ve met the person before, they won’t immediately correct me.

TAKING THE TEST

The test takes 15 to 20 minutes. To start, go to testmybrain.org and click on the Go! button next to the “Matching Faces in Photographs” test.

You’ll be asked to make your browser window large. I kept mine the size I normally use and it worked fine. The next screen is a simplified informed consent form. You’ll be told what the research is being used for and asked to consent (agree). The next screen collects some anonymous demographic information.

Once you’ve entered your demographic info, you’ll begin the test. There are two parts. In the first, you’ll be shown two faces side by side and asked to determine if they are the same person or different people. This is the test of recognizing people in changing conditions. There are 100 pairs, but they flash by pretty quickly.

The second part is the Cambridge face memory test. You’ll be shown a computer generated human face to memorize from three different angles, then you’ll be asked to pick it out from a set of three faces. Next you’ll get to study all six faces and be asked to pick out one of them from a set of three faces. This section repeats twice, once with regular faces and once with faces that have an overlay of computer generated noise.

Once again, there are some spoilers in the scoring section. If you plan to take the test, do it before reading further.

SCORING THE TEST

Part One: My score was 55. The average score is 64.94. I scored higher than 1 out of every 10 people who took the test.

No surprise there. I typically recognize people based on things like how they walk or their voice, both of which change very little over time. If I have to remember a face, I rely on auxiliary features like hairstyle and color, facial hair, scars, glasses, etc. The changes in most of the comparison photos were so significant to me that I guessed at man of the answers. Also, some flashed by so quickly that I barely had time to take in one of the photos, let alone compare the two.

Part Two: My score was 46. The average score is 52.49. Again,  I scored higher than 1 out of every 10 people who took the test.

I found this part even harder because the faces were so generic looking to me. In the single face comparisons I found myself picking out specific features related to the person’s facial expression to identify them (slightly raised lip, one eyebrow higher, etc.). Again I find myself relying on details over gestalt to identify visual images.

In the 6-person sets, after a few trials, I had mostly forgotten what the original 6 faces looked like and couldn’t bring up a mental visual representation of any of them. I was reduced to guessing based on the face that seemed most familiar, which may have meant I was picking whichever faces came up most often, even if they weren’t one of the 6 target faces.

I would love to know what strategies you used on this test, especially if they worked.

THE BOTTOM LINE

This felt like a fairly accurate test of the ability to remember and identify faces under a variety of conditions. Although it doesn’t take into account our ability to recognize the faces of people we know from memory, it does give an indication of how good we are at recognizing the same face under differing conditions or at remembering a new face based on facial features alone.

75 thoughts on “Taking the Matching Faces Test”

  1. The first part was way too quick – I got 86 but I was guessing all the time because most, like you, I barely glimpsed one picture. The second I got 40something – higher than 1 person. I thought I was doing okay except on the last fuzzy bit! Oh well 🙂

    1. The idea of the fast part was to see how you related the two pics in a short time period. Example: Did you see two oval faces and assume it was automatically the same person or did you notice two oval faces one with a short nose and the other with a long nose and automatically know they were two different people?. Our brains can pick up a lot very quickly but to many with face blindness they only see the familiarity if that. Another example: If there is a picture of a man and a picture of the man as a kid, you can see that someone with face blindness might automatically say its not the same person, they do not see the details as easily and quickly. They see a kid and a man. But to someone who notices that the man has the same eyes or expression on his face as the little boy, they may look further and see that they are the same person just at a different age in the photos.

  2. I scored in the 30th percentile in the first one, and in the 20th for the second. Though, I might’ve cheated – I picked out distinctive features and looked for those in the faces. Does that count as cheating?

    1. I do this too, in life. I think hyper focusing on details and missing the big picture is an Aspie trait but not specifically of Face- blindness.
      With roughly, the same outcome.

      1. Frankly, if I didn’t do it, I have no idea how I’d recognize any of them. I literally cannot recognize faces without doing that (even people I’m very familiar with – one of my relatives recently lost a lot of weight due to gastric bypass surgery, and I didn’t recognize her at all. Like, I’m not even talking “didn’t recognize her at first,” I’m talking, she literally had to reintroduce herself to me when she met me again because I was standing there, thinking, “Who is this woman talking to me? The hair is wrong for that aunt, and the age is wrong for Grandma, and the glasses aren’t there for my other aunt who could be here, and she’s too short and brunette for my cousin, and she’s not big enough for [who she is]… who is she? She looks like mom but taller and slimmer. Apparently she knows me. Ocrap, don’t show you don’t know!”).

  3. I got 83 on the first part (4th percentile). Like you I found some of the pictures flashed up so quickly I didn’t even get a good look at one of them. On the second part I scored 44 (2nd percentile). There was only one face I had any degree of confidence about recognizing; the others were too similar so I ended up guessing on must of these.

    1. The second part was incredibly hard for me too. I talked my husband into taking it and he got a 55, which is a little above average. The interesting thing, though, is that he never forgets the face of a person he’s met. He’ll recognize people in a store, even if he hasn’t seen them in 10 years. So maybe this is testing a very specific kind of recognition skill.

      1. Right, this is interesting. I sometimes fail to recognize people (or false positive) who I haven’t seen in a while, or who have changed in some way, but I got just slightly above the 50th percentile on both segments. These tests and reading about people with prosopagnosia have helped me realize how much I DO recognize faces (although this one was funny since I was just as bewildered and guessing as everyone else), and I’m wondering to what extent I think I’m bad at things like this because of anxiety causing unreasonable doubts, and to what extent it’s actually, well, true that I didn’t recognize a former roommate when I saw him a year later with a tan when I wasn’t expecting it and the like.

        I think a lot of my recognition problems are more problems with placing a face that seems familiar (I noticed that a fair amount on the Famous People test, though I sometimes immediately got ones like Cher who I had no idea I’d know). This is practically just as bad as not recognizing the face at all in a lot of situations, and I’ve been known to spend days or weeks trying to remember where I know someone. But I don’t think I’m necessarily neuro-atypical in that respect, either. I also get a lot of false-positives, for instance, a new coworker at the next standup over looks a lot like someone else I work with (a lot) but with the face squooshed down and older. When I looked at him, though, my brain was still saying the other coworker’s name.

        Part of how I got through the second part of the test in this post was that one of the faces looked distinctively like someone I know, btw. I had also forgotten what the exact faces were by the end of each subsegment, but I could always pick the one that looked like him.

      1. The results are shown 3 different ways: (1) your actual score and the average score are shown (e.g. “Your score was 58. The average score is 64.94”. (2) A scale with 2 pointers (one labelled “you” and one labelled “avg”. (3) A graph consisting of 10 stylised people, with one of a different colour showing which decile you fit into. Perhaps it depends on the device (or web browser) you’re using.

        In case anyone is curious, I bombed on these tests. in the case of the “Are they the same face” test I scored 58 (average is 64.94), and only did better than 1 out of 10 people. For the “Cambridge Face Memory Test” I scored 25 (average is 52.49) and did better then 0 out of 10 people. It pretty much confirms what I have always though: I’m useless at recognising faces 😦

  4. 80 on the first part (I guessed not the same if I wasn’t sure)
    and 43 on the second one, which was much harder.

    The first part contained faces I recognized, and often seemed to pair people of different races or gender presentations together for me. Those markers are a lot more obvious, especially since some of them were familiar. I spotted a couple of senators (But couldn’t name ANY of them, just knew they were senators), Rush Limbaugh, the woman from the good wife, and Kim jong il. There were others that were familiar but I couldn’t place the faces to why they were familiar. I know a couple looked like photos set in a court room like on crime tv or something.

    1. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that some of the side-by-side faces are famous people. I recognized a couple of them – definitely Juliana Marguiles – but couldn’t put names to most of them.

      I think guessing not the same is a really good strategy in the case of uncertainty. Wish I’d thought of it. 😀

      1. Guessing is how I spend my LIFE. I can usually recognize that I know someone and attach them to some actions, but not to their name, so I end up avoiding saying names to people’s faces unless I’ve had time to look it up first.

  5. The first was just on instinct. It was WAY too fast. I received 88 (scored higher than 6 out of every ten) I scored 59 on the second part (Higher than every seven people who took the test.) I found that part fairly easy. It sounds so judgemental ( and I am the LEAST judgemental person so…) but I notice key facial features and details as well so one guy had really dark circles and another had a smooshed nose and another’s half smile with warm eyes. I never forget details on a face. Actually more so if the personality has changed…it changes the face…the aura. For me it’s about that. Also I can go a year or three without seeing someone and know they just got their hair dyed or that they don’t have glasses anymore or that they lost five pounds or gained 15. I can tell if they had a harder year or a good year. And I always know before my friends when they are pregnant. It freaks them out and they ask how I knew later…It’s the aura. It’s also their personality changes quickly and I think they are mad at me. I have since learned they are pregnant or very hormonal. My face also changes slightly pre cycle and during my cycle as well as a fluctuation in weight that drives me nuts. It is this attention to detail that probably helped with my popularity in high school. I could copy the make up of any Starlet by looking at her face and then applying it to myself or someone else according to what suited their colouring and shape. I am not into that as much anymore. I was too looks orientated because that is what people paid attention to. They would say, “You may have a really quirky personality but you are pretty.” It was my ticket unfortunately. I learned pretty gave me social standing. I wasn’t spectacular but I was pretty enough. So I really paid attention to what facial features made people look at others and think “pretty.” I made it my obsession. It’s actually quite sad looking back and I know I would not have had the experiences I did without that effort I put into my looks. Sigh. Now that I have gained 30 pounds that make me excessively uncomfortable and I can’t lose I have had to face my definitions and realize I don’t care. Now I have a tough time remembering to shower!:) and I only wear eye liner on most days. It takes me ten minutes including a shower to get ready where as in high school it was an hour.
    LOl. Maybe I am sounding weird? Some people are bothered that I notice these things and remember their jewellery but not the last thing we did together. However if its about noticing a slight difference in their hair they are incredibly flattered. I forget people’s names. Even close friends names or that I am good friends with them. I forget that I am good friends with somebody or that I went to the movies with them last week ect.
    The famous people test I got somewhere in the high 80th percentile…they used a lot of 1940s and 1950s actors and famous people and that is the era of films and media that I taught myself how to relate with…Plus, at the hairdressers People is usually the only thing to read under the dryer and I don’t forget many faces. But that would be a hard test to take otherwise!

    1. This sounds a lot like me, more or less. I’ve noticed that I hyper focus on specific details, while missing the big picture; so I have a difficult time recognizing average faces, but I never forget an interesting face or one I’ve had time to study, such as a work mate.

  6. I scored a little above average (84) one the first part, en around average (52) on the second.
    I have to say I’m surprised, because I felt I was guessing most of the time. The first part went so quickly sometimes! Also on the ‘fuzzy’ ones, I just went for who looked familiar, and started to wonder how many I confused with other faces that were just shown a lot, but weren’t the ones we were looking out for. Interesting test.
    In real life I suppose I do recognize the people I meet, I just don’t always know who they are, especially out of context. Fortunately never very problematic.

    1. While I am not particularly good at recognizing people, I have gotten decently good at sorting out different expressions that people make to show that they recognize me. (Still not excellent, but better than relying on my facial recognition exclusively).

  7. On the first part I got an 83, and it said the average was 82, so about average. I did that part purely on instinct. I felt like I was wildly guessing most of the time, so I have no clue how I did it. I recognized a few of the faces…like John McCain, but on the ones that went by super quickly, I just guessed. Apparently I’m a good guesser?

    On the second part, I got 43, so a little lower than you. This part was miserable. I hated it. They all looked the same to me! I also was mainly focusing on details as opposed to gestalt (he has big lips, he has teeny lips, he has bushy eyebrows, etc), but I guess that didn’t serve me too well. 😛 And when we had to memorize the 6, I was waaaay out of my league. My memory sucks anyway, and there was nothing terribly distinct for me to grasp on to. By the end, when they were grainy pictures, I literally was just pushing random numbers and had no clue. Haha. Not a good guesser on this one. 😛

    1. Or a perfectly average guesser . . . 😀 It’s interesting how the average keeps changing as more people take the test.

      I hadn’t considered how big of a role short term memory might play in this test. Mine is terrible. In real life, we commit faces to long term memory, calling on different resources, so I suppose poor short term memory could significantly skew the result.

      1. Yes, a good enough guesser to be perfectly average. 😉 Which is pretty good in my opinion, since I thought I was epically failing. 😛

        1. Lol, if you calculate the average from people sufficiently worried about their face-recognition skills to take a quiz on it…

  8. Ahhhh… I was so bad at this. I got better than 0/10 of this. So yeah, I’m pretty bad at faces. Especially the 6 faces. I literally had no idea what was going on there. I want to see someone who has super good facial recognition skills take this test, because I personally believe its impossible… but I suppose it probably isn’t.

    1. Well that answers my question of whether “better than 1/10” was the lowest possible score. 😀

      I would love to see that too – maybe someone who is trained to recognize faces, like a law enforcement officer or something.

      1. Nope, I scored an impressive 0/10 for both sections… maybe not helped by the fact that in the first one I kept getting my 1 and 2 mixed up, although since I was mostly picking one at random because I had no clue, maybe not! Funny, I wouldn’t have said my facial recognition was THAT bad, although I think worse than average. Certainly I have been known to mistake myself for my mum, and 6 months into my course, I still struggle with recognising people (funnily enough, everyone seems to know me, even in the first week, just from Facebook, whereas I could remember names but couldn’t match them to any faces in real life. I feel like I’m surrounded by a sea of girls with long blond hair, and it’s so hard to tell the difference)

  9. On the first test I scored 79, the average being 82, higher than 1 in every 10. Far too fast and I also felt that I was guessing an awful lot. I didn’t recognise any of the faces.

    In the second test I scored 40, the average was 52 at the time, higher than 0 in every 10. I really couldn’t remember the whole of any of the faces. I just zoned in on any prominent facial feature or the other strategy of whether or not the face looked friendly/kind. The memorising 6 faces seemed to not happen. At all.

    I’ve had many an embarrassing moment of not recognising friends out of context. Can’t pick people I know out of a crowd. The last bloke I was seeing: we’d arrange to meet in a pub; he’d already be there; I’d walk in and look for him amongst the blur of the ten faces in the pub, not see him so go to the bar to order a pint of fine pale ale; he’d shout out my name as he’d spotted me easily, I’d look around the room trying to locate the source of my name, eventually see him (he’d be waving by this point) and a pint he’d already bought me in advance. Luckily, he found it mildly amusing – some get really offended. He had a lovely shaped nose and fabulous eyes…

    1. Don’t feel too bad, I often don’t recognize my husband in a crowd and I’ve known him nearly 30 years. In fact, we were in a train station last fall and he told me that I looked right at him, while he was calling my name, and then looked away and walked off in a different direction, still scanning the crowd for him. :-/

      I’m glad your last suitor was so good humored!

      1. I know the feeling. I’ve been married to the same woman for 42 years and i still rely on some fairly unique characteristics to recognise her in a crowd. (a) at 4′ 10″ she’s quite a bit shorter than average, (b) She belongs to a small ethnic minority (in this country, not her place of birth), (c) her voice is generally several decibels louder than anyone else’s (and way out of proportion to her size) and (d) her accent betrays the fact that English isn’t her first language. The other thing I rely on is the fact that she purchases a lot of her clothing from a small boutique store quite a long way from our home town. So it’s very unlikely that I’ll come across someone else in the same outfit.

        There’s very few people I recognise out of context, so I’m unlikely to recognise a workmate or family member if I bumped into them in the street unless they speak to me first. People I see less frequently, I’m unlikely to recognise at all unless they introduce themselves to me. I think I must display a rather obvious “who are you” expression (even though I try not to) as in around half the occasions, the other person will give me their name and how we are acquainted without any prompting on my behalf. It gets awkward if I’m with my wife and she starts up a conversation with who appears to be a total stranger. If I’m lucky, I’ll work out who it is from the conversation, but there are too many occasions when I’ve reached the wrong conclusion. Very embarrassing…

        I don’t watch much television or movies as I find it difficult to recognise the different characters. I look for clues such as “the tall one”, “the fat one”, “the one with curly hair”, “the red head” etc. The problem is that too often I run out of unique simple and obvious descriptors. For example, If I’ve labelled one character as “the one with the moustache”, and another character turns up with a moustache, but with no other readily identifiable features, I’ll have to find an alternative identifying feature for the first character. This happens far to often and it’s very exhausting trying to keep track of who is who.

        1. My husband has a very distinctive (to me) walk so I can pick him out that way from a crowd. Unless he’s sitting down. And then lord help me if he takes off his jacket or sweater or hat between the time I leave him and the time I have to find him again. :-/

          I watch quite a bit of TV/movies but have the same problem with identifying actors. I think I prefer TV series over movies because they have recurring characters that I can get to know over time. Whereas movies, I might spend the entire 90 minutes trying to put identifying characteristics on similar looking people or resort to annoying questions like, “is that the guy who ________d at the beginning of the movie?” It gets to be too much work sometimes.

          And now I’m wondering if I like historical K-dramas so much because the characters tend to have one outfit that they wear throughout the series. Like, the evil prince wears the blue robe and the good prince wears the yellow robe and they literally never change their clothes for 23 episodes. It’s awesome. 🙂

          1. There’s some speculation that that’s why animation is appealing to some ASD folks, too. Animated characters tend to have very exaggerated features and look the same throughout a show/film. (I know I like animated stuff; I justify it as keeping me from *over*identifying with or fixating on actors. I know someone who can’t ‘see’ that animated or still drawn human figures represent human beings, which made for some interesting conversations when I recommended her a few graphic novels unknowingly…)

            1. That’s so interesting. I tend to not like animation. Now I’m wondering if it’s because I DON’T get obsessive about the characters! For me, a lot of animation has too much going on — too many colors, things moving too fast, a non-realistic world I have to grasp, too many annoying sound effects. I often find it exhausting instead of exhilirating. In fact, my first memory of being in a movie theater was an animated movie, and I found one part of it overwhelming and unpleasant. It was a Peanuts movie. I’ve just googled around, and I think it must have been A Boy Named Charlie Brown. I remember a part with Snoopy against a solid color background that kept changing color. Hated that part. Also hated the animated break in Sesame Street (circa 1970) with circles popping up and disappearing. But if animation is depicting a fairly realistic world without the bells and whistles, I do much better.

              1. Surreal animation bothered me as a kid. And I can’t stand the ‘wacky for adults’ stuff, like Archer. Too hyper. As I got older, I really like Hayao Miyazaki’s style–dreamlike, meditative, but realistic. I wonder if my acquaintance who disliked animation was on the spectrum or if it was some other sort of brain-processing thing. She’d have a very strong reaction to animation/comics, maybe a bit like you. With her, she couldn’t figure out how to ‘read’ it–decide how to interpret the art style to equate it to actual human actions and emotions, attach the sound effects to events, choose the order in which to read panels. Video games affected her the same way before I met her, though I taught her to play and then couldn’t get her off Dragon Age 😉 Then again, she likes Peanuts and Calvin & Hobbes, so…it is a mystery.

                1. I’m ok with static comic strips and graphic novels (I was blown away by Maus). It’s the animated version that is the issue for me at times.

                  Maybe I’ll check out Hayao Miyazaki. I’ve heard that The Wind Rises is absolutely gorgeous. I can enjoy more relaxed, realistic animation. Some Disney movies are very much like a regular film (aside from the anthropomorphism).

                2. I cannot recommend all of Miyazaki’s films enough. They’re very gentle and bittersweet; I find them soothing. The Wind Rises was gorgeous, but his best was Spirited Away, imo. On the other hand, Spirited Away is a little surreal. Kiki’s Delivery Service is also a good one, and not surreal visually.

      2. 🙂 Excellent! To be honest, whilst it can be a tad embarrassing at times, I find not recognising people (and their subsequent reactions) quite hilarious!

  10. I’m on my Kindle, so I don’t think it would work. But I know that I’m not prosopagnostic, because of a very odd moment while watching television. I can recognize an actor by name, even when they’re playing a character on a show they’ve never been on before (Peter Capaldi on Torchwood, not Doctor Who, and playing a government official, not the Doctor). Of course, I used his eye shape and his nose…

  11. I stopped after a few pictures because the images flashed by WAY too fast. I know I don’t have faceblindness at all (I even recognise the people who work at my local supermarket out of context), but “instinctive” doesn’t fly for me when I don’t even have a chance to LOOK at the pictures. I got so angry with being forced to press 1 or 2 at random that I quit.

    1. I understand.
      So much.
      That is why I didn’t even get curious enough to look at the test.
      I regularly go to a place where there are many women that I occasionally talk to. So I know some of them from information exchanges. No, I wouldn’t put them in the category acquaintances even if I see them fairly regularly. But here comes the weird part: Some of these women seem to come in pairs, they look similar and I get them mixed up. Sitting here typing, I can call up faces and other characteristics of some of them and tell the distinctive features of each. But the moment I meet them, I am sure I will be lost again like so many times in the past.

      1. I know exactly what you mean about people coming in pairs, I seem to experience this a lot also, especially when starting something new. If I see them together I might have a chance, because I see the distinctive things that distinguish them, but it takes me ages to get them straight when I see them alone because I don’t have any grounds for comparison. I just started singing in a new church choir, and to me the two priests look the same (actually, I only realised when someone else pointed it out that I wasn’t seeing the same person week to week, not helped by the fact that we’re not there every week). When I saw them together for the first time last week I realised that one was a lot taller and broader than the other, but it’ll probably still take a while of seeing them together before I can actually keep them straight without the other as reference.

  12. This is realy interesting. I scored 74 on the first part, which suprised me as for most of the faces I didn’t have a clue and was totally guessing. I also found it really irritating to be pressing keys at random.
    I got 45 on the second part, which felt more like an accurate reflection of my recongising ability. I realised part way through that I was mainly using mouth & chin shape to recognise the faces, and not really looking at eyes or noses.
    I definitely have faceblindness to some degree, I used to work in a job where I had to go to international trade fairs and could never work out if the clients were people I’d met before.

  13. I didn’t do very well at this… i got 37 in part 1 and 35 in part two, both well below the average. On part one i think i got confused by there being different people with the same coloured hair for example, and not having time to study them properly to see they are actually different people.
    On part two i memorised features like “fatter cheeks” / “longer face” / “strange eyes” and tried to match it to the other pictures.

  14. Why were the images flashing by so fast? With some of them I only managed to see one face at all. Unless there are people who are actually that good in the first part? O_O

    Anyway, I scored 81 on Are they the same face I relied on a lot of details to be able to tell the difference between the two faces.

    Got 47 on the the computer generated face memory test

  15. I couldn’t even look at the second picture in time. I needed a more steady rhythm so I knew how long to look. It reminded me of the eye doctor appointments, where if the doc doesn’t keep the same speed (is # 3 better, or 4? 3 or 4? Is 5 better or 6? 5 or 6?) I always lose track of what I was just looking at, feel like I’m doing it wrong.
    And on this test the flashing was making me dizzy/anxious, so I quit.

  16. I pushed myself to do it again, despite the flashy faces. I think it is definitely the STYLE of the test that made me score badly on the first part, I only got 41 – far lower than most of you. I just couldn’t see even a single picture in the rapidly flashing ones, let alone compare it to the second picture.

    Because I got 65 on the computer generated faces. That one was easy for me.

    1. I had the same thought about the first test, if I even saw one of the pictures I thought I was doing well, but it was rare that I managed to look at both, and then I mostly only came up with a coherent thought if they were obviously different, either in gender or skin colour. And then mostly ended up hitting the wrong option anyway because I couldn’t keep them straight in my mind! I didn’t do any better on the computer generated faces though.

  17. I scored an 83 in the first one and a 41 on the second, which may have been good fortune since I was guessing for most of the test.

  18. I scored slightly above average on both sections of the test which surprised me as I hit the wrong key several times. I don’t know if I would have scored better or worse if I hadn’t gotten the keys mixed up.

  19. I got 73 on the first part and 31 on the second. I Used details of features to learnt the faces in the second part too, eg the guy with a very dark eye area, and one had one eyebrow higher than the other. When they were all on screen to revise I was distracted by them all having the same ears! I was mostly guessing, and in the degraded picture one I hadn’t a clue.

    I don’t think of myself as being particularly bad at face recognition, but I do take a long time, several meetings, to learn what people look like. I often have people say hello to me and I don’t know if its a friendly stranger or someone I should know but haven’t recognised. Sometimes I can figure it out after a few minutes but often not.

  20. I’ve been laughing out loud at some of the comments here. I scored 83 on Same Face. I’d love to see the pictures slower and see what I chose. For some of them I knew they were different but I couldn’t remember which key was which. When I started out, I was using one hand only. Once I decided to use left hand for 1 and right hand for 2, I did better in that regard.

    On the memory test, I scored 56. When I had to memorize a face, I did better with the ones who reminded me of people or characters I know. I had one I called Jimmy Fallon, and another called Ralph Fiennes, and another that reminded me of an ugly rubber toy I’m familiar with. A couple of other ones I couldn’t remember at all.

    I generally do pretty well with faces of people who are interesting and unique. But when I meet a bunch of bland (personality) people with similar hair color and features, I don’t expend much energy remembering which is which. I am often finding that people remind me of other people due to similar features, but I don’t necessarily mistake them for one another. I’m very good at identifying the same actors in different roles, even if now in my middle age I forget their names.

    Not sure what all this means, aside from me probably not having faceblindness.

    1. Are you talking about the rubber toy that you squeeze it and the eyes/ears/nose pop out? 🙂 Because I kind of thought one of the men looked like that (the version of the toy I’m thinking of, at least) too.

  21. This was a really interesting test for me, as I’ve always assumed that I’m not faceblind because I’m better than my mother at recognising people (if she needs to find someone, she’ll ask me what they were wearing that day). But I scored 84 (average was 82.5) and only better than 3/10 on the first part and 42 (average was 52.49) and better than 1/10 on the second part. I was only able to recognise two faces on the second part–one because of thin lips and the other because of expression, but I was able to eliminate some faces on that part because they looked so familiar or distinctive that I knew they couldn’t be any of the 6 I was supposed to look for (one looked like a dragon or gargoyle to me).

    Thinking about how I recognise people, though, I realise I probably am somewhat faceblind. I don’t immediately recognise people from my martial arts class out of context, even though I know two of the instructors are also professors at my college. I guess I kind of assumed everyone was like that, because I’m not as bad at it as my mother.

    And I’m involved in an on-campus event that a few hundred people participate in. People often recognise me from that and I have no idea who they are. I just assumed the latter was the fact that I’m pretty active in the event and so there are just too many people for me to recognise them. Now I’m thinking faceblindness may play a part in that as well.

    1. I do the same thing you mom does and never realized it was unusual until recently. It’s always interesting to me how we base our level of “impairment” on a relative scale of how impaired other family members are. 🙂 I guess what seems normal growing up or in our household becomes our benchmark for normal until we have a lot of experience outside the family later on in life.

  22. I really love your blog. That said, I despise this face test. I know that I am face-blind, but I scored higher than average on the tests. I think that the tests ought to be called “photo or picture-recognition tests” instead. Sometimes I don’t recognize my beloved husband of 36 years; and other members of my family. I don’t like looking into mirrors, because I am often startled by the stranger staring back at me.
    Again, LOVE, love your blog!

    1. I think photo-recognition would be a much better name for it too. This past weekend I nearly walked right by daughter as I was exiting the restroom of a restaurant because I wasn’t expecting her to be there. If she hadn’t made an obvious “hi mom!” face, I wouldn’t have known it was her. It keeps life interesting at least. 🙂

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog!

  23. I got better than 1/10 on the first part, but that’s not a surprise at all. If someone comes up to me unexpectedly, it takes me a few minutes to process who they are. On the second one I got better than 4/10. I named the faces when I was supposed to be memorizing them and called them things like “Dead and Creepy Eyes,” “Jon from Jon and Kate plus 8,” “Slightly Crooked Chin Dude,” and other things like that, so then when they popped up in the line up they were the ones I recognized. If I didn’t name them, I didn’t recognize them. And on the blurry part I was totally guessing the whole way through. I love your blog! It’s so wonderful to read, and I look forward to all your new posts.

  24. I got 70 on Are They The Same Face, above the average of 64.83 and better than 6 out of 10 who take the test.

    I got 46 on Cambridge Face Memory, below the average of 52.49 and only better than 1 out of 10 who took it.

    So my memory for faces is bad but if I can remember a face then I can recognise it well? I recall getting a surprisingly high score for the celebrity faces test despite almost never recognising people I meet who remember meeting me before. I guess this could explain that odd discrepancy.

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