Are you a fan of optical illusions? You have probably come across the Impossible Trident, the Café Wall Illusion, or the Impossible Elephant. Which one is your favorite? Believe it or not, your eyes can be tricked pretty easily.
Experts would agree that “My Wife and Mother-in-Law” is the most popular illusion. Sometimes it goes by the name “Boring Figure.” This illusion will make you look twice or thrice. It has kept people busy since 1915.
Boring Figure was created by British Cartoonist William Elly Hill. The brilliant creator used two images in his illusion, and it’s brilliant. You can see a young woman and an old lady at the same time. Impressive, right?
A group of researchers from Flinders University in Australia conducted a study in 2018. According to researchers, the image you see first depends on your age.
The study involved 242 males and 141 females aged between 18 and 68. The median age was 32. Participants had the image in their hands for a second and were then asked about their gender and age.
The results showed that a younger person will see the younger woman first. Older people will spot the old lady. Young people guessed the age of the lady to be 6.3 years younger than older participants.
Psychologists like to say that this is actually an “own-age bias” in face recognition. According to this, young people will recognize other young people’s age more precisely than the elderly. Older people will recognize the age of other old people more precisely than younger people.
Researchers explain that young people are more affected by the own-age bias than the elderly. In other words, you are better at recognizing people’s age if they belong to your age group.
The ability to recognize a face is determined by your experience. Inexperienced people recognize faces of their own age group more precisely and also the faces of people from their race.
How much do you know about the processing of in-group and out-group faces? We process in-group faces at an individual level. We process out-group faces at a categorical level.
That’s why kids say sixty-year-olds are actually a 100 years old. Your experience matters.
Your experience has a huge impact on your initial interpretation of a photo at a subconscious level. But, this study shows that older adults have no trouble seeing an older face. Yes, you will always see the faces of people in your age group.