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Study: Matching faces to IDs fails often

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Posted: Mar 12, 2014 6:29 PM by Rebecca Buchanan
Updated: Mar 12, 2014 7:02 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: lsu, research, security, id, check, identify, results, study, photo, match

BATON ROUGE- LSU researchers say people fail at matching faces to ID photographs 40 percent of the time.

Dr. Megan Papesh, Assistant Professor of Psychology at LSU, said their studies show recent photos with similar lighting were the easiest to identify, with 80 percent of people getting the match right. Changes in weight, hair style, and expression made a big difference when looking at pictures, up to seven years old.

Researchers say these changes, combined with everyday distractions, make it very difficult to match the photo. Now Dr. Papesh says they want to know why results were worse than they predicted.

"We're looking at participants' eye movements as they make these decisions so we can actually determine where were they looking prior to making a successful or unsuccessful selection, and is it the case that participants are simply, for lack of a better term, bailing before they get the critical information, so we can look at the efficiency at which they identify faces," she explained.

Dr. Papesh says they're looking into how people store memories, to find if they can identify why certain people are better at matching than others.

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