We tested whether episodic information about people facilitates memory for their faces (Experiment 1) and whether this effect is specific for face identity (Experiment 2). Participants were presented with faces paired with behavioral descriptions (positive, neutral, or negative) and faces displayed alone. In both experiments, participants were more likely to recognize faces paired with behavioral descriptions, and after 1-week delay, their memory was better for faces paired with descriptions of salient behavior (i.e., with positive and negative valence) than faces paired with neutral behaviors or faces presented without information. To examine whether these effects are about memory for face identity rather than face image memory, in Experiment 2, we presented different facial images (varying in facial angle) of the same people at the encoding and at the recognition test. Although this manipulation decreased the overall recognition, the findings of Experiment 1 were fully replicated. The findings suggest that minimal affective information is sufficient to facilitate memory for face identity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)