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View Poll Results: can you picture the faces of people not present in your mind?

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Thread: picturing faces

  1. #1
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Default picturing faces

    I hadn't ever thought about the topic until someone brought it up on a podcast that I was listening to... apparently most people can picture the faces of those who they know when they aren't even present

    I've been trying and trying over the past few weeks and I can picture a few aspects of the people, like their hair or their manner of speaking, but I can't put their damned faces together in my head. This annoys me because it had never occurred to me somehow that being able to picture people was something that's done... that's why there's pictures, dammit!

    I've been running an informal poll on coworkers, family and such in real life to see how normal this is (apparently everyone else can picture faces so far ) and have decided to try it out on a different group.

    as a note I can usually recognize people when I meet them again if I know them, but if I've only met them once I'm doomed... I used to accidentally pitch customers again as if they were new customers... occasionally citing that I'd helped out their coworker (them)
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  2. #2
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    yikes that's craziness
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  3. #3
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    How do I describe it, I can put the features of people I've met altogether, but I guess you can say that I take a vague snapshot of those people.

    I tend to automatically tie images (or things) of people to names or tie images (or things) of people to places. It makes things easier to remember.

    And boy, do I remember people I really don't need to remember.

  4. #4
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    yikes that's craziness
    it hadn't previously occurred to me that it was unusual in any way

    funny thing is that I can remember other things about the people who I can't recognize... I had one customer ask me to describe his "coworker" and I was able to tell him his wife and daughter's names and what town he lived in and such... just couldn't tell that it was him

    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    How do I describe it, I can put the features of people I've met altogether, but I guess you can say that I take a vague snapshot of those people.

    I tend to automatically tie images (or things) of people to names or tie images (or things) of people to places. It makes things easier to remember.

    And boy, do I remember people I really don't need to remember.
    oooh... you work like an address book in a cell phone!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  5. #5
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    That's interesting! I had that conversation once with one of my friends and she also expressed the same kind of surprise that you did that other people do see faces in their heads. So, I asked one of my male friends and said, "You know how you can see people you know in your head and even picture them moving around or doing stuff, right?" He got a goofy look on his face and said, "Oh yeah". I wasn't thinking about it at all in a sexual sense, but it was clear that he was! I find for me, it depends how well I know them, how memorable their features are and how striking the meeting was to me (or important it was to me to remember). There are some people I've met once whom I can picture easily, and others who are a little fuzzy or changeable in my head.

  6. #6
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    not usually if anything i hear their voice.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  7. #7
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    oooh... you work like an address book in a cell phone!
    If it wasn't for being able to keep phone numbers on cell phones, I might need to have to remember most of them. The thing is, I don't.

    Nothing special, really. Some people have photographic memory (I don't.) Some people are able to pinpoint the exact location of a passage of a book reading it only once (I don't). People are able to read a chapter of a book just once and remember most of what went on in the chapter (I can't... I have to read it a few times.) And dear do I say I suck at auditory instructions. The worst thing you can do to me is given me auditory instructions or an auditory (only) lecture.

    It is a different pain in itself though.... you forget many important things for remembering so many vague "unimportant" things.

  8. #8
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Hm. I sort of can, but then when I try to "look" at it, it goes away.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    i have a hard time doing this and im pretty sure its the reason for my totally awful face memory. combine this with not being that good at distinguishing people from each other, i mean i often see people in crowds that look just like someone i know and not being sure if its the same person or someone who just looks like him/her. being an INTP and not really caring to go talk to the person to find out(since it would probably be wrong person 99% of times), i need to act as if i didnt see the person just in case that if he happened to be the actual person, he wouldnt notice that i noticed him and not come to talk . another example of this happened a while ago when i was in a supermarket with my friend, there was some blonde chick working there, then she went away from my radar and like a minute later another person about the same height and blonde came and i thought it was the same person, but my friend just laughed, seconds later the actually person i saw first came and i noticed that they didnt look that alike after all . one other thing like this is that at work if some customer wants some help and i have to go to back room to go get someone or something, i have really hard time identifying the person later, usually i need to deduce who the person is based on gestures(when i look at them and come towards, they act like they are expecting me to give them the answer they wanted). but recently i noticed that i can use their clothing to help me, so when i leave i need to tell my self for example "beige pants, black jacket" and need to say that quite many times(or all the time) when im not seeing the other person. also i think it has a lot to do with the fact that i cant visualize things in very vividly. some people say that they can almost see the thing that they visualize, but for me its more like when you see an spoon that is half behind a milk carton and know what the spoon looks like and thus know what the part of the spoon not seen looks like, how its positioned(based on what you do see) etc. but what i can imagine well is the movement of objects and stuff like that. i had this little mind game when i was younger where i imagined what smaller kids(currently in my visual field) would look like at my age or bit older and that i was good at. oh but i can imagine a picture i have taken of a person quite well, but have really hard time recognizing a person in real life who i have only seen a pictures of(they often look like completely different people to me in real life).

    @Lady X no this is craziness
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  10. #10
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    yea, definitely can... my brain is just a picture book though... have more trouble translating to words sometimes... feel like I'm describing pictures rather than thinking the words directly... makes for a pretty strong memory in general ... ... I think. Can hear their voice as well as prp mentioned....
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