Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poker faces may distort facial features more than smiles in passport photos

Date:
July 9, 2012
Source:
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Summary:
Photographs of faces may not be adequate proof of a person's identity and this could have serious implications for the accuracy of passport photographs in determining identity. Research has shown that an image of a person may look strikingly different from one image to the next. We are told not to smile in our passport photos as a smile distorts the face; but the opposite may actually be true, and a poker face may be the one which distorts normal facial features.

Photographs of faces may not be adequate proof of a person's identity and this could have serious implications for the accuracy of passport photographs in determining identity. Research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that an image of a person may look strikingly different from one image to the next. We are told not to smile in our passport photos as a smile distorts the face; but the opposite may actually be true, and a poker face may be the one which distorts normal facial features.

Dr Rob Jenkins and his team at the University of Glasgow took a sample of photos from the internet to show the wide range of differing images of one person. In a series of experiments, viewers unfamiliar with the subject of the photograph believed that the photos they were viewing were of different people -- when in fact they were simply different presentations of the same person.

By contrast, viewers who were familiar with the subject of the photograph found it much easier to identify the person across the different images. Familiarity was key, particularly where the range of images formed a collection of both good and bad likenesses.

Further experiments looked at the perceived attractiveness of an image. They showed that variability within a person was greater than the variability between people when it came to deeming a face attractive. The experiments showed that faces and facial photographs cannot be considered to be representative of each other. Facial recognition must start to consider not only how to tell people apart, but also how to spot the similarities.

Dr Jenkins states: "The sheer variation in photos of an individual's face did bring us up short. Previous research on identification has focused on differences between faces. Now it turns out that differences within faces are just as large. Therefore in this study we have discovered a new dimension to the field of face recognition."

Assessing a face as attractive can have positive consequences when it comes to finding a mate, finding a job and perhaps seeking approval. So it is important to choose the best image of ourselves to present to a judgmental world. Dr Jenkins states: "This research makes us consider much more deeply what it means to have a 'good likeness.'"

Further information: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-062-23-0549/read


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). "Poker faces may distort facial features more than smiles in passport photos." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120709092602.htm>.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). (2012, July 9). Poker faces may distort facial features more than smiles in passport photos. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120709092602.htm
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). "Poker faces may distort facial features more than smiles in passport photos." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120709092602.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins