We don't look like the way we think we do

We don
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A new study has revealed that we don\'t look like the way we do, suggesting that we are so poor at picking good likeness of our face that strangers make better selections.

A new study has revealed that we don't look like the way we do, suggesting that we are so poor at picking good likeness of our face that strangers make better selections.


UNSW's David White said that in face-to-face encounters with unfamiliar people, it is often necessary to verify that we are who we claim to be. For example, we are asked to prove our identity when processing financial transactions and crossing borders. In these and many other commonplace situations, photo ID is the most common method for identity verification.

He added that despite the clear importance of this visual task previous research has shown that we are quite poor when matching photos of unfamiliar faces.

Results show that the unfamiliar participants chose a different set of "good likeness" images compared to those that people had selected of themselves.

White added that it seems counter-intuitive that strangers who saw the photo of someone's face for less than a minute were more reliable at judging likeness. Existing memory representations interfere with one's ability to choose images that are good representations or faithfully depict our current appearance.

The study appears in the British Journal of Psychology.
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