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Commun Integr Biol. 2010 Jul;3(4):295-8.

Extraversion predicts individual differences in face recognition.


In daily life, one of the most common social tasks we perform is to recognize faces. However, the relation between face recognition ability and social activities is largely unknown. Here we ask whether individuals with better social skills are also better at recognizing faces. We found that extraverts who have better social skills correctly recognized more faces than introverts. However, this advantage was absent when extraverts were asked to recognize non-social stimuli (e.g., flowers). In particular, the underlying facet that makes extraverts better face recognizers is the gregariousness facet that measures the degree of inter-personal interaction. In addition, the link between extraversion and face recognition ability was independent of general cognitive abilities. These findings provide the first evidence that links face recognition ability to our daily activity in social communication, supporting the hypothesis that extraverts are better at decoding social information than introverts.


extraversion; face recognition; general intelligence; personality; social skill

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