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GFMT2: A psychometric measure of face matching ability


We present an expanded version of a widely used measure of unfamiliar face matching ability, the Glasgow Face Matching Test (GFMT). The GFMT2 is created using the same source database as the original test but makes five key improvements. First, the test items include variation in head angle, pose, expression and subject-to-camera distance, making the new test more difficult and more representative of challenges in everyday face identification tasks. Second, short and long versions of the test each contain two forms that are calibrated to be of equal difficulty, allowing repeat tests to be performed to examine effects of training interventions. Third, the short-form tests contain no repeating face identities, thereby removing any confounding effects of familiarity that may have been present in the original test. Fourth, separate short versions are created to target exceptionally high performing or exceptionally low performing individuals using established psychometric principles. Fifth, all tests are implemented in an executable program, allowing them to be administered automatically. All tests are available free for scientific use via

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    While this is potentially of theoretical interest, it also produces some challenges for test construction, because test item difficulty was correlated with test item response bias. This introduces some complexity when selecting test items for shorter versions that we describe in subsequent sections.


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Author note

Preparation of this chapter was supported by an Australian Research Council Linkage Project (LP160101523), and an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant to White (DP190100957). We thank Anita Trinh for assistance with data collection. The original Glasgow Face Matching Test was developed as a collaboration between two universities in Glasgow, UK. We retain the original name despite no longer holding affiliations with those universities. The face images used in GFMT2 were created as part of the original collaboration, much of which was led by our friend and colleague, Allan McNeill, 1958–2016.

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Correspondence to David White.

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White, D., Guilbert, D., Varela, V.P.L. et al. GFMT2: A psychometric measure of face matching ability. Behav Res (2021).

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  • Face perception
  • Perceptual expertise
  • Facial image comparison
  • Super-recognizers
  • Congenital prosopagnosia
  • Developmental prosopagnosia
  • Unfamiliar face matching
  • Expertise
  • Facial recognition