The role of reasoning domain on face recognition: Detecting violations of social contract and hazard management rulesEvolutionary Psychology 6(3): 523-537
Face recognition has previously been used to provide evidence for the existence of human cheater detection mechanisms; however such evidence is currently inconclusive. This study aimed to further analyze recognition of violators and cooperators of rules by using two different contexts, social contracts (SC) and hazard management (HM). Participants were presented with male faces alongside either a SC or HM scenario and told whether the individual had violated or cooperated with the rule. Participants were then asked to identify the faces and behavior of those individuals from the first part of the study from a larger set of photographs. Results indicate that faces and behaviors of rule violators were remembered better than those of rule cooperators, and faces (but not behaviors) in SC scenarios were remembered better than those in HM scenarios. These results are interpreted as providing possible evidence of a general rule violator detection mechanism, with face recognition abilities then mediating differences between SC and HM scenarios. Furthermore, the disparity in how humans interpret SC and HM scenarios is discussed from an evolutionary perspective, with reference to how behavior in each rule affects the inclusive fitness of others.
Face recognition, social contract, hazard management, precautionary rules, cheater detection.