Individuelle Unterschiede in der Gesichterkognition im Kindes- und Jugendalter/Individual Differences in Face Cognition across Childhood and Adolescence
Face perception and memory ("face cognition") are basic facets of social intelligence, and their development is a central topic for developmental science. Nevertheless, there is acute controversy over the issue of early or late maturation of these abilities. In addition, variance in face cognition abilities was ignored so far, leading to the absence of information, how children in a given age cohort differ in these abilities and making it impossible to investigate the association of face cognition abilities with general cognitive abilities; hence, the question about the specificity of face cognition abilities in childhood and adolescence remains open. Based on the earlier differential psychological studies of the structure of face cognition and variance in adulthood, within the current dissertation this approach was adopted to childhood and adolescence. Based on the results of 338 children and adolescents, the following conclusions were formulated: a) the individual differences approach allowed to establish the 2-factorial model of face cognition abilities (face perception and face memory) and to demonstrate invariance of this structure across childhood and adolescence; b) current approach allowed to demonstrate substantial age-related performance differences in both latent factors; c) although the level of maturation of face cognition is highly associated with general cognitive development, face perception and face memory are specific and have a social character compared to object recognition. The current dissertation contains a number of methodological recommendations related to the measurement of face cognition in childhood and adolescence, most important - the development of multivariate measurement.