The experiments involved 25 undergraduate and graduate students of the universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen.
People are able to learn about five thousand people, according to the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. this includes the people with whom a person communicates personally, and actors, musicians and other celebrities, which she sees in the photo. Five thousand is the average, and in individual cases, the number of recognized entities ranges from one to ten thousand, informs Rus.Media.
Most of their history humans lived in small groups, at a considerable distance from each other. The situation changed in the last few centuries. The population of the planet quickly began to grow and people have the need to recognize and remember a large number of people, and to recognize familiar and unfamiliar faces. Cognitive study of British psychologists led by Professor Mike Burton (Mike Burton) from York University revealed that in the process of recognition of familiar and unfamiliar individuals there are significant differences. Anthropological studies show that the average social network of a person has 100-250 employees, while at the same time, the results of anthropometric measurements can be modeled about a trillion unique characteristics of human faces.
In the new study, Burton and colleagues decided to find out how many people, on average, people recognize, at least at the level of order of magnitude. The researchers did not pay attention, did the member of the experiment name of the person whose face he recognized.
The experiments were attended by 25 students and graduate students of the universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen (10 men and 15 women, mean age of participants was 24 years). The experiments were conducted in two stages. First, participants were asked to recall personally knowing people. To do this, participants were provided with a sign, which had to be complete within the hour and write the names of family members, relatives, colleagues, friends and so on. Then the subjects in the same way, too, and for an hour asked to recall known celebrities. They offered to recall the famous names of businessmen, politicians, actors, musicians, and so on.
During the second session, which also lasted one hour, students were asked to read 3441 famous person in his photo. They showed 6882 images of celebrities (two different photos of each person). The researchers believed that the party learned of a famous person only if it is properly recognized it in both photos.
The experiment showed that, on average, within the hour people recalled 362 personal friends (the number ranged from 167 to 524 people), and 290 celebrities (230-553 person). It turned out that the participants, on average, would have remembered 34% more friends on average, 549 people (from 253 to 794). The speed of recognition of celebrities decreased faster. According to the calculations of researchers, with no time limit, the participants would remember 26% more people-an average of 395 people (230-553).
To estimate the total number of people who can recognize students, the researchers considered the ratio of the number of celebrities which participants were able to recall and list in the table and the number of the famous people they learned. Get the ratio of 1:4,62. The researchers then summed the average number of friends and celebrities who were able to recall the participants (get 944 persons, the total range 583-1286) and multiplied it by 4.62. The result is that on average, people recognize 4.2 thousand people, and the total number ranged 1031-8579 people. In recognition of the researchers, their method of calculation is not good enough to accurately count the number of recognizable people, so as a result they offered to round off the average to five thousand, and the interval to take from one thousand to 10 thousand people.
It is worth noting that the study covered only 25 people. Therefore, to clarify the number of persons who can recognize the person in the future will need to conduct additional experiments with a much larger sample and possibly to other experimental designs.