Dr David White
Original Published Date: 
Friday, July 9, 2021

Full article issued by The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney).

ARC-supported psychologists from UNSW Sydney have developed a new face identification ability test that will help find facial recognition experts for a variety of police and government agencies, including contact tracing.

The Glasgow Face Matching Test 2 [GFMT2] targets high-performing facial recognition individuals known as super-recognisers, who have an extraordinary ability to memorise and recall faces.

The type of professional roles that involve face identification and that could benefit from the test include visa processors, passport issuers, border control officers, police, contract tracers, as well as security staff in private industry.

'Being able to recognise faces of friends and family is a skill that most of us take for granted,' Scientia Fellow and ARC Future Fellow Dr David White from UNSW Science’s School of Psychology says.

'But comparing images of unfamiliar faces and deciding if they show the same person is a task that most of our participants find challenging, even passport officers with many years of experience in the task.'

'A major finding in our field in recent years has been that some people are much better than others at identifying faces from photographs.'

'This is an insight that has changed the way staff are recruited, for example passport and police officers.'

The development of the GFMT2 test was part of an ARC Linkage Project in collaboration between UNSW Sydney and the Australian Passport Office (DFAT).

Photo credit: 

Scientia Fellow Dr David White. Photo credit: Dr David White.