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Cognitive Styles and Memory for Faces

Messick, Samuel J.; Damarin, Fred
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute of Mental Health, Cognitive Style, Facial Stimuli, Memory, Recall (Psychology)


Accuracy in the incidental recall of photographed human faces can be predicted from the subject's cognitive styles and biases: (a) Subjects who were field-dependent on an embedded figures test recalled more faces correctly than did the field-independent; (b) subjects who were narrow categorizers on the Pettigrew Category-Width Test had better recall than had broad categorizers; and (c) subjects who though the photographed persons were relatively young did better than those who thought they were older. These three kinds of stylistic consistency were mutually independent. Some of these styles may determine memory for all sorts of stimuli and some may be relatively specific to memory for faces.

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