ERIC Number: ED237230
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Relative Importance of Style of Movement vs. Physical Appearance in Person Recognition.
Dirks, Jean A.
Two experiments were conducted to determine the relative importance of style of movement versus physical appearance in person recognition. The first study investigated the capabilities of young children and adults to recognize target individuals' styles or manners of movement and to distinguish between people when their faces were not visible. A total of 36 preschool children (ages 5 to 6 years), 36 school age children (ages 8 to ll years), and 36 adults (ages l9 to 39 years) were given a paired-comparison recognition task involving stimuli videotaped in black and white. In the second experiment, 28 preschool children and 28 adults observed target individuals with their faces and hair visible. In both studies, targets were observed either while engaged in repetitive gross motor activity (active movement) or while being pulled back and forth on a wheeled cart (passive movement). The experiments suggest that children start out life with the capability for utilizing many sources of information as a basis for recognizing people. The young children used movement differences rather than bodily differences as a basis for recognition. By contrast, the adults gave more emphasis to physical appearance and did not make use of style of movement in identification. These developmental differences imply that adults may be likely to describe acquaintances in terms of their physical appearance, while young children may think of people in broader terms. (BJD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Body Movement Style
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Detroit, MI, April 21-24, 1983).