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Investigation to find out which gender is better at recognising faces

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Abstract This investigation was carried out at St Mary's College, Blackburn by a student for his AS Coursework. The aim of the study was to find out weather gender has an effect on facial recognition. The experimental hypothesis for this experiment is females will be able to recognise celebrity faces more than men as females stereotypically have a better knowledge of the celebrity world and have greater interest in celebrity lives. Also the null hypothesis for this experiment is there will be no significant difference between whether males or females will be better at recognizing inverted celebrity faces as each human has its own knowledge about the celebrity world and each gender does not have the upper hand in recognizing them. The type of experiment method used to carry out this experiment is a field experiment which means it takes place in the participants' natural or normal environment. The natural environment for this experiment is the college canteen. The selection of my 20 participants was done using opportunity sampling. Opportunity sampling is extremely quick and economical. It is the most common method of sampling because it is convenient. The participant is selected and given a consent form which they read and then sign. When the participant is ready he/she is seated in a reserved seat and shown 14 pictures all on one page, consisting of 7 famous women and 7 famous men. They will be given 30 seconds to view this sheet of celebrity pictures. As the participant finishes observing the pictures they are given a 5 second pause, after the pause they are shown 6 pictures from the 14 shown before, but these pictures are inverted. During this process the participant is being timed but is unaware of it. As the experiment is completed the participant is given a consent form which tells them what the experiment is designed for and that they were being timed. ...read more.


How ever the level of noise affected the concentration of the participants. This experiment involved 10 boys and 10 girls from year 12 and 13. This is because the results could show which gender has better recognition skills. The college consist of students from many different backgrounds and ethnicities. A few are, white Christian, black Christian, Indian Muslim, Pakistani Muslim, Chinese and African. The experiment uses opportunity sampling so the 1st 20 people matching the criteria will be used, therefore it may not contain people from all backgrounds. The selection of my 20 participants was done using opportunity sampling. Opportunity sampling is extremely quick and economical. It is the most common method of sampling because it is convenient. It consists of taking the sample from people who are available at the time the study is carried out and fit the criteria you are looking for. 10 boys and 10 girls from both years volunteered to take part in the experiment. However they were unaware of themselves being timed. It is a popular sampling technique as it is easy in terms of time and therefore money. For example the researcher may use friends, family or colleagues. It can also be seen as adequate when investigating processes which are thought to work in similar ways for most individuals such as memory processes. Sometimes, particularly with natural experiments opportunity sampling has to be used as the researcher has no control over who is studied. However, there are a few weaknesses of opportunity sampling. Opportunity sampling can produce a biased sample as it is easy for the researcher to choose people from their own social and cultural group. This sample would therefore not be representative of your target population as you friends may have different qualities to people in general. A further problem with opportunity sampling is that participants may decline to take part and your sampling technique may turn into a self selected sample. ...read more.


Overall the experiment showed there is not a lot of difference between genders on facial recognition. The null hypothesis was proved correct. The results for the experiment are shown below and in the appendix. The bar chart shows both genders recognized the inverted faces at a steady time. Both genders completed the experiment the fastest, participant 4 and participant 18 both completed the experiment in 11 seconds. This shows both genders have the ability to recognize inverted faces very fast. Participant 20 showed not all people have the ability to recognize inverted faces at a steady speed, or not all people have a great knowledge about celebrities. Consent form Dear participant, This experiment is a study of face recognition. The experiment will take place at St Mary's College 13/02/06 in the canteen at lunchtime (12.40-1.25). This experiment involves 10 boys and 10 girls from year 12 or year 13. You will be seated in a comfortable area were you will spare a few minutes of your time. You have the right to withdraw yourself from the study or stop at any time during the experiment. If you wish to take part in this experiment please fill in the form below. Participant Gender (M/F) Signature 1 M 2 M 3 M 4 M 5 M 6 M 7 M 8 M 9 M 10 M 11 F 12 F 13 F 14 F 15 F 16 F 17 F 18 F 19 F 20 F If you have any further questions please feel free to talk to me and ask. Thank you for your time. Z.Patel. (investigator) (Zulfikar Patel) Results Participant Gender Time taken (seconds) 1 M 33 2 M 36 3 M 15 4 M 11 5 M 22 6 M 24 7 M 24 8 M 17 9 M 27 10 M 16 11 F 36 12 F 31 13 F 28 14 F 22 15 F 21 16 F 19 17 F 38 18 F 11 19 F 21 20 F 120 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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