Consciousness and Cognition: Sample Size, Methodology, and Critical Review of Facial Identification Techniques

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In order to undertake the study on the role of consciousness in cognition appropriate sample size was necessary. The number of units needed for analysis in the study should have been determined by the research problem under investigation. For this study, there is no clear analysis of the sample used. It is mentioned that twenty – eight participants were recruited. This is quite a scanty description because the study should have looked at the impact of consciousness on cognition. The author has not elaborated how the sample was arrived at and whether it was fully representative of the targeted population. There is need to give a comprehensive information regarding the criteria used to select the sample population and whether it is a correct representative of the population. The author did not give a satisfactory description of the participants. It is important to give attributes of the sample such as the age, educational background, healthy status related to vision, level of exposure and interaction with different environmental aspects. Such information is quite important in understanding behavior during and after the study. A comprehensive description of the sample helps future researchers and policy makers to develop relevant intervention measures either to increase cognition or treatment of those with problems.

It was important in the participants’ section to define the population of study hence justify the sample. The sampling method is very important because it will help show whether the representative portion was selected.

Because of a poorly chosen sample, it was difficulty to gather sufficient data for analysis. There was a limitation on having sufficient data to study different attributes of the participants and how they affect their consciousness in cognition. The scanty information regarding the sample population made it difficult to relate different ways of cognition with a group in the population.

Despite the challenges in selection sample and data collection, I think the  author was able to draw valid conclusions from the results. From the two experiments, the classic findings was replicated that attention could be directed by both conscious and unconscious cues. Participants showed that learning was rapid regarding cues that they were conscious aware of and changing strategy whenever the cue-target is changed. This finding agrees with the studies done before which showed most of our mental life is conscious. The study has not found any evidence of learning regarding cues processed unconsciously. The study has found that there is a clear difference between conscious and unconscious status. The results of the study do not contradict other recent studies regarding context-specific conflict adaption. This is an indication that the study has drawn a valid conclusion from the results. Hence, participants are able to benefit from both a conscious and unconscious cues. This is similar to the proposition of the theory of consciousness, in which consciousness and unconsciousness processing take in similar processes within cortical systems but are different based on their neural dynamics.

Critical Evaluation

The New York’s Time Article, titled; “Why You Can’t Trust Yourself to Match Photos of Strangers’ Faces” by Heather Murphy is an excellent educative material on why it is surprisingly difficult to match photos of strangers. Several studies have shown that people will not be correct around 10% to 30% of the times when they requested to determine if two photos of people looking similar are of the same person. There were questions on whether being experienced professionally improves the accuracy. This is one of the most recent studies geared at assisting authorities at the border to become more accurate at spotting fraudulent travel documents.

The article is very relevant and useful in the current security environments in which terrorists activities have been on rise. In most of the occasions, these terrorists have been travelling using stolen or forged documents so as to hide their identification. The article has very educative information on how to match a person to his or her photo. It has highlighted how one can be able to differentiate and match hairstyle so as to avoid fraudulent usage of other people’s documents. The online test is important in that it enables one to reexamine his or her facial identification skills after short learning.

On the other hand, the article has poorly introduced its contents for a new person or learner. The fact the article has no basic introduction on matching photos, makes it complicated for a new person to start learning. The fact that the materials are out and accessible to each person, it is possible for criminal groups to learn ways of beating the system. Though the article is aimed at educating the public on how they can improve their investigation skills, it can be wrongly used to commit crimes. Despite these challenges, it is my strong belief and conviction that the article has more positive roles to play in the society.

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Consciousness and Cognition: Sample Size, Methodology, and Critical Review of Facial Identification Techniques. (2019, Oct 10). Retrieved May 18, 2024 , from

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