Study Says Women Recognize Faces and Names Better than Men

November 17, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. recognize [REK-uh g-nahyz] (v.) – to identify something or someone that have been seen before
Example: My childhood friend still recognized me after years of separation.

2. monitor [MON-i-ter] (v.) – to observe or supervise
Example: The researchers monitored the participants’ behavior using surveillance cameras.

3. mention [MEN-shuh n] (v.) – to briefly say or refer to something briefly
Example: Scientists did not give full details of the study, but only mentioned the implications of its results.

4. awkward [AWK-werd] (adj.) – having little grace or skill in doing something
Example: Most teenagers are awkward when engaging with the opposite sex.

5. cope with [kohp wid] (v. phrase) – to deal with a problem
Example: People lacking certain skills can cope with it by proper training.


Read the text below.
A new study revealed that women are better than men in remembering new names and faces. The article published in the Psychological Science journal discussed possible reasons why women are better in recognizing faces and names.

Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada used an eye-tracking technology that can monitor eye movements through two small cameras.

The participants were asked to perform two different experiments. In the first set up, the participants used the eye-tracking technology as 120 faces with names were shown to them. This activity was completed in the span of four days with some of the faces repeating throughout the cycle. The researchers then asked the participants if they had encountered a particular face before. In the second setup, participants did the same but only for a day. Photographs of the faces were shown every five seconds.

The results showed that women could recognize an average of seven out of ten faces, while men could recognize five or six. Although the difference may be small, it can result to more socially awkward situations for men as compared with women.

The author Jennifer Heisz [hahyz] mentioned that recognizing faces better may be related to women having better episodic memory, which involves recalling of certain events in the past.

The good news is that there is a way of coping with being terrible at recognizing faces.

According to Heisz, one can try taking the face of a person as a whole or having a better look at people’s eyes, lines of their nose, and even the arches of their eyebrows. However, doing so may be too much especially during the first meeting.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         From experience, would you say the result of study is true? Why or why not?
·         Aside from looking into the details of the face, what other techniques are helpful in recognizing faces? Explain briefly.

Discussion B

·         Do you think remembering a person’s name is important? Why do you think so?
·         How can recognizing a person’s face help in maintaining one’s network of friends/acquaintance?


November 17, 2013