Naming very familiar people: when retrieving names is faster than retrieving semantic biographical information

Serge Brédart, Tim Brennen, Marie Delchambre, Allan McNeill, A. Mike Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

One of the most reliable findings in the literature on person indentification is that semantic categorization of a face occurs more quickly than naming a face. Here we present two experiments in which participants are shown the faces of their colleagues, i.e., personally familiar people, encountered with high frequency. In each experiment, naming was faster than making a semantic classification, despite the fact that the semantic classifications were highly salient to the participants (Experiment 1: highest degree obtained; Experiment 2: nationality). The finding is consistent with models that allow or parallel access from faces to semantic information and to names, and demonstrates the need for the frequency of exposure to names to be taken into account in models of proper name processing e.g. Burke, Mackay, Worthley and Wade (1991).

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2005

Keywords

  • semantic categorization
  • face recognition
  • person indentification
  • memory

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