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Posts Tagged ‘Face Recognition’

Everything has Feelings – Anthropomorphize with Me Now

April 17th, 2017 6 comments

Image result for pixar lamp

Do you often find yourself talking to things that can’t respond?  What about not wanting to throw things away because you’ll hurt their feelings?  Do you give inanimate objects personalities?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you anthropomorphize!  Also, your amygdala is probably fine and you probably aren’t autistic.

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T-E-A-M GO TEAM: The Cheerleader Effect

April 17th, 2017 3 comments

Middle School Man…

In middle school I hated the popular girls because they were so damn pretty. Have you ever hated a group of people because they were good looking? Maybe you thought that a team was automatically attractive without seeing every member? If so then you, like middle-school-me, have fallen victim to the Cheerleader Effect. Read more…

Pleasure from your pain: how the empathy bias makes us kinda shitty people

April 17th, 2017 9 comments

Notice the girl wearing a white sweater in the background smiling as she walks by? Her reaction could be a perfect example of the empathy bias. (https://giphy.com/search/mean-girls

Remember in high school when there was that clique (or whatever the boy-version of a clique would be called) that you absolutely loved to hate and got a sense of personal pleasure when something went wrong for a member of the group? For example, when the fourteen-year-old you watched that annoyingly pretty girl drop her lunch in the cafeteria all over her side-kick best friend, you laughed and felt a swell of happiness. I might not be able to claim that you’re not still a slightly shitty person for feeling that way, but cognitive psychology research may have some reasoning behind those feelings and it’s called the empathy bias.

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Why Do You See That Face that’s NOT There?

April 17th, 2017 2 comments

Have you ever thought about seeing things that are not there? At first glance, this might sound like a bizarre suggestion, unless, of course, you are a philosophically-minded person (if that’s the case, read Descartes!); it is, undoubtedly, a logical possibility, but it is a possibility that seems only able to realize itself in a movie, or in the cases of unfortunate people who suffer from mental disorders. But interestingly, this kind of phenomenon does exist in our life, and it is actually very prevalent, at least for seeing one particular object: faces.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

I guess you are now suspicious, but recall the last time that you or someone else saw a face in the cloud; or this image showing a cute, smiling “face” on the back of a chair. But obviously, there is no face. Still, we recognize them, with considerable ease. This tendency for us to see faces where there aren’t any is called face pareidolia. And this tendency can be very useful, and sometimes even profitable. Artists, such as Giuseppe Arcimboldo, have long exploited this tendency to create some of the most imaginative paintings (to read more about Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s work, click here); moreover, the ability to see Virgin Mary in toast is obviously worth 28,000 dollars on eBay (to see the news, click here). Given its prevalence and potential value, it’s natural to wonder how exactly do we recognize those non-existent faces? Saddly, I don’t know the answer for sure, but perhaps I could offer some possible explanation.

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Either you’re in or you’re out: The power of in-group bias

April 16th, 2017 1 comment

Have you ever seen someone wearing a shirt with a political candidate you don’t like, and automatically assumed the worst about him or her? Or perhaps you have been at a sporting event, and felt a strong connection towards fans cheering for your team. Why do we make judgments about people we know nothing about based on their group identification? Why do we assume good things about strangers who are more similar to us, or bad things about anyone who differs? What justifies this behavior?

In-group biases 

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The Identifiable Victim Effect: Why you should reconsider donating to the child on GoFundMe

April 15th, 2017 1 comment

What kinds of charities do you give to? What spurs you to give to them? Is it images on GoFundMe of your friend’s neighbor’s child suffering from cancer, or the story of an exploited woman finding refuge and employment through a non-profit? Do you get a feeling of satisfaction when you type in your annual donations as deductibles to send to the IRS?

These are questions that can be answered and understood through the Identifiable Victim Effect, which says that people are more willing to give aid when they can identify a specific victim who will benefit from their donation. That is, when you or I hear a suffering child’s story or see their picture, we are more likely to whip out our wallets.

Why is this? It isn’t a rational or effective strategy for doing the most good for the most people. People donated $700,000 upon hearing the publicized plight of Baby Jessica who fell into a well in 1987, an amount of money that was probably not necessary to save Baby Jessica and perhaps should have been shared with other necessary causes, such as the thousands of nameless babies who are abandoned and dying around the world (Small, Loewenstein, & Slovic, 2007). The Identifiable Victim Effect does not rely on logic, so its explanation certainly isn’t going to be found in the sensible decisions of kind citizens.

What a cute child! His story of suffering from cancer raised more than twice the amount of the original goal. Source: GoFundMe.

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Squad Goals! Why Attractiveness is a Team Sport

April 14th, 2017 No comments

 

From time to time, science puts its nerdy inquiries on hold and answers pressing questions. One such universal concern is attractiveness. Recent research in psychology is looking at how being part of a group affects how others see you. Can walking around in a group make you more attractive? Can you figure out how attractive a group is by averaging the attractiveness scores of each member? Thankfully, cognitive psychology is here to shed light on these mysteries.

The namesake: http://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/cheerleader-news.html

The Biases

 

The Cheerleader Effect is the tendency for individuals in groups to be rated as more attractive than if their photo were seen by itself (Walker and Vul, 2013). Let’s say that when people see Benjamin by himself, he is typically a 6 out of 10 on the attractiveness scale. The Cheerleader Effect is the tendency for Benjamin to be a 6.20 when he is seen next to three other people. In the Cheerleader Effect, the size of the group is not important. The benefit of being in a group of 4 people is similar to that of being in a group of 16 people. If you want more information on how Walker and Vul went about finding this bias, check out  this blog post on the CogBlog. 

 

The Group-Attractiveness Effect has two meanings. The GA Effect could refer to the Cheerleader Effect, or it could refer to the tendency for people’s assessment of the average attractiveness of a group to be higher than the average attractiveness of each member when they are by themselves (van Osch, et al., 2015). If you’re not a math professor, this means that when Aisha (8), Eduardo (8), Aiko (8) and Sam (8) go out to town, people may rate the average attractiveness of their squad as higher than an 8.

 

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The Cheerleader Effect: How You Can Actually Seem More Attractive With a Little Help From Your Friends

April 12th, 2017 No comments

Imagine you’re sitting in a restaurant, walking through the mall, or even scrolling through social media, and you notice a really good looking group of guys or girls. Maybe you admire them, maybe you’re attracted to them, maybe you’re envious of them, or maybe you even resent them. Regardless of exactly how you react to their attractiveness, you may want to reassess their looks. Research suggests that people are perceived as more attractive when they’re seen in a group than they are when they’re seen individually (Walker and Vul, 2104). So, that glorified group of guys or gals I asked you to imagine before? They might not be just as attractive as they appear. 

http://splitshot.com

If you’ve ever seen the show “How I Met Your Mother,” you might be familiar with this phenomena that is commonly referred to as “the Cheerleader Effect.” In season four, episode seven, main character Barney Stinson coined the term. He explains the phenomenon when he encounters a group of seemingly attractive women at a bar. He explains, quite discourteously, that, just like cheerleaders that look stunningly gorgeous as a squad, but like the average girl next door individually, “They seem hot, but only as a group. Take each individually? Sled dogs.” This phenomenon has also been referred to as the Bridesmaid Paradox, Sorority Girl Syndrome, or even the Spice Girls Conspiracy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDzkMXpDZfc). Regardless of how superficial and shallow some of these phrases are, there is, in fact, psychological research backing the “How I Met Your Mother” hypothesis.

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Why Do We Trust Prince Hans? The Halo Effect.

April 12th, 2017 3 comments

 

www.playbuzz.com

Have you ever noticed how in Disney movies, the good guys are always attractive and the villains are… well, not? It seems like Disney tends to make the characters we like attractive, and the characters we dislike unattractive (or maybe it is the fact that they are attractive or unattractive that causes us to like or dislike them, but I’ll get to that in a minute). Take a look at Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Shan Yu from Mulan, or even Scar from The Lion King. What adjectives come to mind when you see these characters? Do you think of them as evil, immoral, or downright terrifying? It takes little effort to be repulsed by these characters, and perhaps it is their— shall we say unsightly? — physical appearance that prompts us to make quick judgements about them. Think of Frozen, for instance, which serves as an exception to the rule that the villain is always unattractive. Did any of you predict that Prince Hans was the villain? I definitely didn’t see it coming. Why was Anna—and why were we, the viewers—so trusting of Prince Hans? The answer may lie in the Halo Effect. Read more…

Sisterhood in the face of it all!

November 24th, 2015 5 comments
female faces

female faces

What is your thought process when you see someone’s face for the first time? This is a tough question, and quite honestly I could not think of anything specific myself. Upon perceiving a face, it only takes us a few seconds to cognitively process it and gather all the necessary information about it. For something so seemingly easy and quick, one would not expect any difference between how different people perceive and process faces, right? Wrong. What if I told you that women processed males and female faces differently? If you are a woman like myself, you are probably puzzled, as you probably never had a difficult time recalling and identifying faces of your peers regardless of their gender. Evidence suggests that women are better at remembering female faces than they are at remembering male faces. In the paper titled “Women Own-gender Bias in Face Recognition Memory: the role of attention at encoding,” researchers investigated the role attention played in women’s ability to better remember faces of fellow females than faces of males. Read more…