Children and adults recall the names of highly familiar faces faster than semantic information

L. Calderwood*, A. M. Burton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Adults find it harder to remember the names of familiar people than other biographical information such as occupation or nationality. It has been suggested that the opposite effect occurs in children (Scanlan & Johnston, 1997). We failed to replicate the effects found by Scanlan and Johnston and instead found that children were slower to match a name than an occupation to a famous face (Experiment I). In Experiments 2 and 3, however, we show a temporal advantage for names in both adults and children when highly familiar faces are used. This is the case for famous and personally known faces. These results show that the speed of name retrieval is influenced by familiarity in the same way in both children and adults and indicate that children do not represent knowledge for familiar people differently from adults. The implications of these results for current models of name retrieval difficulties are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-454
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Children and adults recall the names of highly familiar faces faster than semantic information'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this