The Caricaturing and Prototype Effect on Famous Face Identification
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The current research aimed to further explore both the prototype effect and a caricature advantage of famous faces across three studies; a likeness rating task (experiment 1) and name-verification task (experiments 2 & 3). All three studies used photograph and prototype stimuli which were caricatured and anti-caricatured to 30% and 60% away from a gender-specific norm. In experiment one likeness ratings were recorded. Contrary to previous research, no prototype advantage was found, with veridical photographs perceived as better likeness. Additionally, neither a photograph nor prototype caricature was perceived as a better likeness. The current paper does not support a prototype advantage for face likeness, and suggests that photographs are closer to the mental representation held for an identity, which may be due to the high quality of photographic stimuli. In experiments two and three, accuracy and response-time for correctly matched stimuli were recorded, with stimuli presentation time differing in name-verification studies (200ms vs. 50ms). In line with some of the previous research, no caricature effects were observed for photograph stimuli, either for the speed and accuracy of identification, with manipulations of 60% caricaturing actually producing a decrease in performance. Contrary to previous claims, presenting stimuli for a shorter duration did not appear to significantly enhance a caricature effect. Similarly, no caricature effects were observed for prototypical stimuli, although linear trends suggest some increase in both speed of identification and accuracy as a result of caricaturing. Overall, these findings add little support for the norm-based face-space model, which suggested distinctive faces should be identified better than typical faces, or for the use of prototypical images over veridical photographs as a means of identification.