Who do you look like? Evidence of facial stereotypes for male names

Abstract

The present research provides evidence that people use facial prototypes when they encounter different names. In Experiment 1, participants created face exemplars for fifteen common male names, subsets of which were endorsed as good examples by a second set of participants. These most typical faces were morphed to create face-name prototypes. In Experiment 2, participants matched one of the names to each of the prototype faces from Experiment 1. Participants’ matching choices showed convergence in naming the prototypes for many of the names. Experiment 3 utilized these same prototypes in a learning task designed to investigate if the face-name associations revealed in Experiment 2 impacted the learnability of the names. Participants learned face-name pairings that had a higher association (based on frequencies from Experiment 2) faster than pairings with a low association. Results suggest a more direct relationship between faces and names than has been previously proposed.

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Lea, M.A., Thomas, R.D., Lamkin, N.A. et al. Who do you look like? Evidence of facial stereotypes for male names. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 14, 901–907 (2007). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03194119

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Keywords

  • Face Recognition
  • Matching Task
  • Association Strength
  • Specific Face
  • Gray Scale Range