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Who Has More Trouble Recognizing a Person with a Mask On – Kids or Grown-Ups?

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Study:  Children Find It More Difficult than Adults to Recognize Faces Behind Masks
Most people have gotten used to having to wear a mask in most social settings; but a new study finds that children have a harder time recognizing people in masks than adults have.  At the same time, younger kids have not had the opportunity to get vaccinated, so they’re more dependent on the rest of us wearing masks, around them.  But it’s a tricky balance to strike, for their overall well-being.

Researchers from two universities also reveal that children process faces differently, when the face they are looking at is masked, compared to when it is not masked.  Usually, humans process the face as a whole, rather than by its individual features.

Senior study author Erez Freud says, “Not only do masks hinder the ability of children to recognize faces, but they also disrupt the typical, holistic way that faces are processed.”  He adds, “If holistic processing is impaired and recognition is impaired, there is a possibility it could impair children’s ability to navigate through social interactions with their peers and teachers, and this could lead to issues forming important relationships.  Given the importance of faces to social interactions, this is something we need to pay attention to.”

So, we’ve got to be patient with kids who may mis-read or mis-handle a situation, in which masks are required.  At the same time, we’ve got to keep them protected from virus, especially since they are not as protected by vaccine.  

Learn more, here:  (EurekAlert)

  • A study finds that kids have a harder time recognizing people who are wearing face masks than adults do, and kids also process faces differently when they face they are looking at is masked
  • Researchers caution this could “impair children’s ability to navigate through social interactions with peers and teachers, and this could lead to issues forming important relationships”
  • Yet kids are the least protected by vaccine and need mask-wearing around them


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