The method of identification of super-recognizers validated

 (Image: Pixabay CC0)
(Image: Pixabay CC0)

First empirical validation of a new diagnostic framework for laboratory identification of super-recognizers and their value to law enforcement.

Professor Meike Ramon and Dr. Maren Mayer, researchers at the University of Lausanne and the Leibniz Institute for Media Research, respectively, have published their findings in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). Maren Mayer, researchers at the University of Lausanne and the Leibniz Institute for Media Research, respectively, publish in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) the results of the first-ever empirical study of the performance of super-recognizers identified using a newly proposed formal diagnostic method in forensic crime identification.The results are published in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) and are the first ever empirical study of the performance of super-recognizers identified using a recently proposed formal diagnostic method for forensic identification of the perpetrator.

The recent study reveals that the laboratory method developed by Meike Ramon to identify super-recognizers, people with an exceptional ability to compare and recognize faces, is valid for assessing their facial identification ability.

In the present study, 73 super-recognizers identified using Meike Ramon’s approach performed significantly better than 45 participants in the control group when identifying criminals on the basis of video surveillance images and passport photos created and provided by the Fribourg cantonal police.In the present study, 73 super-recognizers identified with the help of the Meike Ramon approach performed significantly better than 45 participants in the control group when identifying criminals on the basis of video surveillance images and passport photos created and provided by the Fribourg cantonal police. This is the first empirical study to test the skills of super-recognizers on the basis of authentic video footage from the judicial police.

The results of this first study could be complemented by future research examining the effects of different types of criminals on the facial recognition abilities of super-recognizers. It will also be interesting to compare the performance of tests on a larger number of authentic real-world documents, namely the Berlin Test for Super-Recognizer Identification, a custom-made tool that Meike Ramon has been developing for several years with the Berlin police.

https://www.pnas.org/­doi/10.1073/­pnas.2220580120