How many faces do you actually know? Scientists just discoveredOctober 10, 2018
Scientists just discovered the average number of faces that people know and the result is outstanding.
Apparently, the number is 5,000!
The research team, from the University of York, tested study participants on how many faces they could recall from their personal lives and the media, as well as the number of famous faces they recognized.
Dr Rob Jenkins, from the Department of Psychology at the University of York, said: “Our study focused on the number of faces people actually know- we haven’t yet found a limit on how many faces the brain can handle.
“The ability to distinguish different individuals is clearly important–it allows you to keep track of people’s behavior over time, and to modify your own behavior accordingly.”
Dr Jenkins added: “The range could be explained by some people having a natural aptitude for remembering faces. There are differences in how much attention people pay to faces, and how efficiently they process the information.
“Alternatively, it could reflect different social environments-some participants may have grown up in more densely populated places with more social input.”
The mean age of the studies participants was 24 and, according to the researchers, age provides an intriguing avenue for further research.
“It would be interesting to see whether there is a peak age for the number of faces we know”, said Dr Jenkins. “Perhaps we accumulate faces throughout our lifetimes, or perhaps we start to forget some after we reach a certain age.”
Dr Rob Jenkins, University of York.