8    Oct 20122 comments

Names & Faces: What’s your memory IQ?

Do you remember names and faces? Some people are better at this than others, and some claim that they never forget a face.

This is a valuable talent in the family history field, as some of us can immediately recognize people in photographs or remember the names of relatives at reunions or large family weddings.

A new study - and online test - developed by researchers at Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri) will help you learn how good your memory is in relation to others. They are inviting the world to participate in the online experiment.

The 10-minute test can be taken from a computer, smartphone, iPad and other mobile device. It's part of a “crowd-sourcing” science trend, using the Internet to gather research data while allowing participants to learn something about themselves.

I just took it and my rough-estimate score result was 108, meaning that I correctly identified 86% of the name-face pairs.

It was fun. I’ve always believed that I was pretty good at remembering names and faces - important attributes for a journalist - so the score seemed okay. Of the nearly 16,000 people who have taken the test already, 63% of them did not do as well.

According to the test, I’ll have another chance tomorrow to test my long-term memory. I’m looking forward to that one.

Want to participate? Just visit the test website.

According to research team member psychology professor David Balota,

It’s a simple test that only takes about 10 minutes to complete. We’re finding that people really seem to enjoy being tested this way. With your participation, you can contribute both to the science of memory and receive feedback about your performance. Participants can also share the test among friends using a Facebook “like” button.

Did you participate? How do you feel about your score? Let us know in the comments below.

Search for your ancestors:

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I tried to do the test twice, but in both cases the test became stuck towards the end of the second phase. As a result I never got to the third (presumably results) phase. Pity. I thought I did quite well. And would have liked to see my score.
  2. Hi, Adri. Please try it again! It is possible that the test site hangs when too many people try to take the test. You can keep trying until it goes through.

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