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Sex differences in face recognition – Women’s faces make the difference
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2002 (English)In: Brain and Cognition, ISSN 0278-2626, Vol. 50, no 1, 121-128 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sex differences favoring women have been found in face recognition tasks as well as in verbal episodic memory tasks. Women's higher face recognition performance was hypothesized to be related to either their higher verbal ability or to their superiority in recognizing female faces, rather than faces in general. Results showed that whereas there were no differences between Swedish men and women (aged 20-40 yrs) in the recognition of male faces, or in verbal ability, women performed at a higher level than men in the recognition of female faces. Verbal ability did not influence women's face recognition performance. Potential explanations for this pattern of data, such as sex differences in interest and prior knowledge, are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 50, no 1, 121-128 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-22801DOI: 10.1016/S0278-2626(02)00016-7OAI: diva2:189550
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-12Available from: 2003-09-02 Created: 2003-09-02 Last updated: 2009-10-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sex Differences in Memory and Other Cognitive Abilities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sex Differences in Memory and Other Cognitive Abilities
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present thesis was to study sex differences in memory and other cognitive bilities in healthy adults. In Study I, participants performed a number of episodic memory tasks that were more or less verbal in nature. Results showed that women performed on a higher level than did men in the episodic memory tasks where it was possible to use verbal labels, whereas men performed on a higher level than did women in a visuospatial episodic memory task. In Study II, women’s advantage in face recognition was investigated.Results showed that women performed at a higher level than did men only in the recognition of other women’s faces. In Study III, sex differences in cognitive tasks as well as brain measures were investigated in healthy older adults. Results showed that only the sex differences in a motor task could, to some extent, be explained by sex differences in one of the brain measures. The findings, as well as possible explanations for these patterns of results, are discussed in a theoretical context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Psykologiska institutionen, 2003. 60 p.
cognition, memory, sex differences, gender, verbal abilities, visuospatial, face recognition, brain aging
National Category
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-12 (URN)91-7265-634-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2003-06-10, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2003-09-02 Created: 2003-09-02Bibliographically approved

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