A person’s ability to memorize and distinguish faces is much broader and allows us to include in this circle thousands of other people who do not belong to our usual circle.
Scientists from the University of York have calculated that a person can remember an average of five thousand people’s faces.
This is stated in an article by the British psychologist Rob Jenkins and his colleague from York University, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, reports Naked Science .
It is noted that the average size of traditional settlements ranges from 150 to 200 with a small number of people. The same figures are indicated by the estimate of the population of the Neolithic sites, and the average number of “friends” in today's social networks. This value, the attention to which English anthropologist Robin Dunbar first turned, is considered the usual limit of the number of permanent social connections that we can maintain. However, our ability to memorize and distinguish faces is much broader and allows us to include in this circle thousands of other people who do not belong to our usual circle.
Researchers from the University of York recruited 25 volunteers who recalled as many acquaintances as possible, whose faces they remembered, and then another hour unfamiliar: politicians, musicians and other celebrities. Names were not required: it was enough to remember the appearance and indicate who it was - say, “an actress, a friend of the heroine from such a movie” or “he studied in a parallel class”.
In the first minutes, volunteers quickly filled out their lists, but the speed dropped noticeably within an hour. Of course, they couldn’t remember all the familiar faces in one session, however, continuing the graph, on the horizontal axis of which the time of recall is indicated, and on the vertical axis - the number of faces, the scientists extrapolated it and obtained an average figure. In addition, the volunteers were additionally shown pictures of almost 3,500 celebrities, which they might know, but did not immediately name.
By combining all these results, the authors showed that volunteers remembered from 1000 to 10 thousand people with an average of around 5000.
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