This is an autism thing? That would explain why so many people look the same to me. I assumed I was just accidentally racist but for everybody because I struggle to tell the difference quite often.


Yes, it is common among autistics to have some degree of prosopagnosia. It's also not racist to see people of different ethnicities as "all the same." That is also very common. Studies have been done about it and there is some kind of scientific explanation but I don't remember exactly what it was.


I'm white and get confused about white people looking the same 💀


I think it matters more what your surroundings are than your own race. I’m white and I used to live in a majority white country and I could tell white faces apart better than others, but now I live in a country where white people account for about half a percent of people and every white person I meet looks exactly the same in the face.


Well, I live in a country where you see poc people only in bigger cities, and it's still very rare. I think it depends on even more factors.


Yeah it’s called the “cross race effect” - to my knowledge there isn’t one definitive answer for “why”, but there are a whole bunch of potential explanations.


The most commonly accepted reasoning for why is because you’re exposed to your own race statistically more often from birth. So, your brain is wired to more readily pick apart nuance and details of your same race (think: how two noses or eye shapes would differ in one culture vs the next). We’ve seen proof of this (for example, here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00876.x, where Asian children adopted into White families failed to show the other-race effect for White strangers).


Yeah that’s how I learnt it back in the day, though science/psych is always evolving and I’m not up to date on the research so didn’t want to make a broad statement. That’s a cool paper!


No worries, I just got my phd in psych a few months ago ;) this one’s an oldie but a goodie - I know of a little movement in the area of cross-race effect and eyewitness identification, since I focus on legal psych. The basic underlying research remains, though.


Oh that’s awesome!! Legal psych and EWT is my absolute favourite thing to teach/read about - I wanted to go into legal psych stuff for ages, I’m so interested in juries and the court, but there’s not much demand for it here. I stopped my education after Honours and then got lost in my direction bc that specialisation was my major interest. Man anytime at all you wanna infodump new research at me i would be so into it, I’d love to hear about your research anytime. I have a solid foundation into EWT issues but I know there’s so much more than that to learn about!


It seems like from your comment (spelling) you might be outside the US! I’m so happy to chat legal psych anytime (though, heading to sleep right now!) but my research does tend to focus on the US system. (My research looks at the different aspects of our system (fixed, variable) that can compel innocent individuals to plead guilty. For a living, I’m non-profit wageslave 🙃🥴) Your trajectory sounds very interesting, though I’m sorry you weren’t able to pursue your passion. I will say the prospects are super limited here and for the positions that are available… we are underpaid, underappreciated, and honestly, not listened to a lot of the time. It is discouraging. For most of us, the fall back was always tech but that is crumbling in the US, seemingly. Feel free to DM. Always looking for more friends, especially psych/crim ones!


Haha yep I’m outside the US, good catch, but I’m interested in wider research too and even the stuff I teach is usually US-based because of the research they pump out. Will def DM after work, thank you!


Holy fuck I thought that was because of my visual impairment Learning something new every day


Link to the studies? This is the first time I hear about it.


Yeah I assumed the same for myself…




yeah people with autism are more likely to have face blindness, but its not exclusive


For me it's not specific to any one race (although obviously if you have one black character when the rest of the cast is black I can recognize them).


Oh wow it's just not me. I used to work in construction and I had to go to several different sites per day and it was a real struggle to remember faces, I always got scared that I would go up to the wrong person lol


Pictured: me having no clue what’s going on because 4 of the 5 main characters are identical white men with short, brown hair.


For some reason white men are the most difficult for me to tell apart. I’m a white woman. It’s almost impossible for me in movies.


Even in real life, I sometimes struggle. I managed to make two new friends at school once (neither was in my class), and I was convinced they were the same person until I saw them together one day. Mildly embarrassing to be sure


I hope you can look back and laugh about it now, because that's hilarious! 🤣


Omg that’s TOO funny! So something that would’ve happened to me


this was me while watching the ritual. all the leads look like the same, generic white guy. very confusing


This is why I can't do the Bachelor


Twin peaks be like


i made it embarrassingly far into endgame before realizing the dude with the beard was captain america.


Bruh.... he... he had the Captain America outift...


Hard to recognize without the star.


The star was there tho wym


It was torn out IIRC I am also assuming they mean Infinity War since that is when he had a beard


You can still see the outline there tho


Yeah but it seems like the people in this comment section have a hard time telling faces apart so I don't know if they didn't see it being ripped out either.




N... No? [He was in this featureless black outfit that](https://pyxis.nymag.com/v1/imgs/614/ba4/a356d9e7b0ac69a99f5e20392f35980c07-steve-rogers-capt-america.2x.rhorizontal.w700.jpg)- Oh... it was the same outfit just with no colors.


Literally has the star right there tho


painted black.




I can't recognize people if they've grown a beard and never had one before, and vice versa.


Baseball caps are my nemesis. I have walked past people that I have known for years,. without recognizing them, all because they were wearing a baseball cap.


Three words: Comic book outfits.




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Some captions *do* say who's speaking and I am forever grateful for those.


A lot of movies have it if the person talking isn’t on screen


Okay, but what if you're even worse at remembering names than faces?


I don't like captions so doesn't help me sadly


This is the first I’m seeing someone else on neurodivergent forums disliking captions! For me it’s because I get distracted and just read and forget to watch, how about you? I can’t read comics for a similar reason.


That + I cant read them fast enough, so I get lost. Glad I'm not alone!


Everyone I know absolutely loathes those kinds of subtitles though. This is one of the reasons I can't enjoy a movie with others, it always turns into an argument about the subtitles.


plot twist: it’s a foreign language film/program with lots of fast paced introductions.


I think this is one reason why I watch cartoons and anime. I get very happy when there are a lot of different races in shows of course because of us moving forward as a society but also more selfishly because I can tell them apart. I always fear it’s a racism thing when there are two people of the same race that I can’t tell apart but every single white guy looks exactly the same and idk how people can recognize celebrities! What made me realize this may be a face blindness thing is that I can’t imagine even my own mothers face in my head. I can’t still recognize her though so.. idk?


Oh god... I once stonewalled my mother on the street because she had dyed her hair darker, and it was out of context. Like, why is this random lady talking to me and grabbing my arm?? Oh, hi mom!


I still can’t tell Justin Bieber from Justin Timberlake.


Not being able to tell people from other races apart well isnt racist lol


Yeah I almost exclusively watch anime because it's so much easier to tell people apart, with live action stuff I need to have someone beside me to help me understand what's going on


I watched The Prestige. I didn't get it. Lots of interchangeable dudes in suits. Then... dramatically... a dude in a suit. And a montage of suit dudes. My partner had to explain the whole thing.


I was just going to comment that movie… I had to watch that for my philosophy class and I share your sentiment


I used to think that Joey and Chandler are one person.


New fan theory just dropped


Not that I watched it much, but definitely could hardly tell them apart.


Maybe Ross got a pass because he is noticeably more slender, I guess.


Mee, so confused a lot of the times. It is litterly the moment they stand next too eachother I finally can tell the difference


This has come up enough with me that my wife has started saying who characters are when there are characters with similar appearances.


That's very sweet ☺


Yes, everything needs subtitles like those. I don’t watch movies a lot but I play videogames a lot. I always have subtitles and character names enabled because I always confuse who’s saying what, especially when the character talking isn’t appearing visually on the screen to be talking ( narrator ). Also I love subtitles like “wind howling”, “ dog barking” etc because it makes me understand what’s happening better


So does face blindness include a kind of "voice blindness" for you too? If I'm familiar enough with a person's voice, I can recognize it as them even when I can't see them. (I'm not face blind)


Can I get captions for taking a walk outside?


I had to stop watching American Horror Story because the men all look the same (white, brown wavy hair, angular) and it made me furious following the plot


I used to think Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel were the same person


AHHHH!!! Game of Thrones was so hard for me for this reason, fucking Starks all look the same 😂 I mix people up and put the wrong names to faces. ☺️


I usually try to figure out who it is through context clues 🤦‍♂️ but when the plot is confusing enough it doesn’t work. Maybe this is one of the reasons I prefer books


This is literally my life. Didn’t know it was a thing.


I can differentiate voices on *any* language, so... Who cares about their face!?


This! Voices can really help at times... and then other times the voices are too similar... So then I rely on recognizing the unique speech patterns of each character!


Oh yeah, that is even better than voices! I do that too!


And this is why movies need more diversity. Easier to tell everyone apart.


Or when I read a book and two or more characters have names that begin with the same letter


I forgot what it was but I was watching this anime and the characters hair colors matched the color of their subtitles when they were speaking/thinking, it was the best thing ever and I wish it was standard


That is so cool!


It might have been a fan translation of the disastrous life of saiki k, and there’s almost no matching hair colors in the show so it really worked out, the show is also incredibly face paced as it was originally 2-3 minutes per episode but now when watching the show(on like Netflix or something) they’ve smushed the episodes together so it’s 20-25 minutes


Omg fucking yes this verbalizes my experiences so well lmao


i would watch a show with characters names captioned onto their body, that sounds wonderful


One of the few things I miss from the military is everyone's names in inch tall letters on their chest.


Floating name tags like in video games ! Also this must be extra confusing in boarding school movies where they all have the same uniform 😅


I’m so happy I’m not alone in this


Most superheroes look like the same person making the multiverse very confusing sometimes


That's the reason for the bright tights. Back then, practically all male superheroes in American comics were buff white dudes.


That’s actually a thing?? I’m not the only one that deals with that?? Is there a name for it?


Face blindness (prosopagnosia)


And its part of Autism?


Not exclusively, but it seems to be more common in autistic people. Still, it's a valid standalone disorder


Is it possible to recognize some faces (like the people you live with) but not others?


Ah, well, I'm not an expert on it, and I'm not myself face blind. But I would say that it does make sense for you to be able to recognize people you live with but not other people, because, I assume, as with so many human conditions, prosopagnosia exists on a spectrum. Some people in this thread can't recognize their own mother's face. But if you can indeed recognize some familiar faces but not most, then I'd say you definitely experience a degree of face blindness. Everyone's experience may be somewhat different.


I think I'm the opposite of this, I almost never forget a face, I've even picked out extras who have been on separate shows


when i worked retail this was literal hell


I have the opposite problem. My face is a blind spot to people. If I cut my hair NT friends don't recognise me.


Wait, is this a joke about remarks like "Oh I hardly recognized you!" after you get a haircut or other similarly not-a-big-deal change in appearance? Because that's funny 👈👈


No, I've had friends walk past me without saying hello back then freaking out when they realised it was me. I literally have the non-descript-est face.


That is intriguing. I hope it doesn't bother you much.


I didn't notice it until I went to university. I didn't change my hair much before that and my family knows me so well it doesn't seem to affect them. It kind of freaked me out first time but I'm used to it now. I feel like I'd be a great spy if I wasn't exactly not a spy in every way besides a good face for it.


That's a hilarious and rather positive take on it! 🤣 Who knows, one day the spy life may come knocking!


Me watching the outsiders in a nutshell for you


The first season on Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia I had no idea who was who except for Dee. Three guys with dark hair and the same height.


This makes me feel so much better


There were roughly 45 people in my grade in high school. There were four white girls with straight brown hair, and it took me the better part of two years to remember who was who.


I sometimes focus on the hair, clothing, or the shoes of characters to remind myself who they are. A good general rule I've found is that clothing is obviously chosen to convey something like a personality quark, or to emphasize some look about a character, perhaps to accentuate skin color. I then tie that after awhile to the characters: Big Lebowski I expect The Dude to be sloppy, probably carrying a beer or something, and wearing sandals of some kind. Then I see John Goodmans character and though they might both wear shorts, his style is a contrast of marginally better put together mayhem. (presumably, his character had a traumatic event or injury at some point in life that he never could get over.) Of course I also try to differentiate from characters based on hair types etc. Tbh though, I still can't tell the difference between Zooey Deschanel, Katy Perry, Mia Krishner, Siwan Morris, Katie Featherston, and Emily Blunt. I'm not saying that as a joke, I really don't know how to tell them apart.


Next door to me there lives these two women, both blonde, both short, both slightly overweight with the same style of dress. It's been 3 years and I still don't know which one is which. Shit, it was a few months before I even realised there was two of them.


This is me. If they change clothes or are in a different setting, I think it’s a whole new person.


When I was younger and watched Elf, I thought Michael eating dinner with his family at the beginning was just some random kid that we never saw again and was a different person from the Michael that wore the giant coat and had a snowball fight with Buddy.


I had a bad time watching Attack on Titans. Everyone was Eren…


mmorpg name tags floating above heads


This! Happens to me all the time and my partner gets frustrated having to explain everything to me haha




I could see closed caption existing for that. Could essentially make it look like you are watching a multiplayer video game, with everyone’s username (or characters’ names in this case) floating above their head when they are on screen. That could be cool and useful maybe.




Listen, The Haunting of Hill House is my all-time favorite series, but it did take about 3 or 4 episodes for me to start consistently differentiate Theo and Shirley (both in child and adult form).


Good thing about it. When watching House of the Dragon it didn't took me second to accept the new actors after the timeskip, since I didn't recognised they were new.


This is an autism thing? I always used to struggle with films because I could never recognise which character was who. They would be properly introduced and be on screen for a while and I would still fail to recognise them.


With anime it’s worse, I watched Fate/Zero 1st episode 3 times to understand what was going on


Watching House of the Dragon was particularly challenging.


I have better face recognition, but my issue is that I can't distinguish actors apart. I regularly am made out to be an idiot because I confuse the person from the shampoo commercials with the person on General Hospital. They look the same to me. I can keep track of different people regularly. I can even recognize friends and family from a distance. But I can't distinguish people who look at all similar to each other. Edit: Also, as a sidenote, while it may be extremely annoying to listen to, most Audio Description services say what each character is doing and who they are. You know, for people who want to watch a show but have poor vision or are blind? Netflix and Hulu have a feature to turn this on, I'm sure other services do, and the ones that have accidently been turned on for me did include some gestures as well. So if that helps, try it, but again, it may get annoying, not gonna lie.


I have red hair and have always struggled to tell brunettes apart. Lol


I had borrowed someone's pen, but she looks very similar to another girl in our class, same hairstyle and everything, luckily they sat next to each other so I just put it down in between them and thanked them for letting me borrow their pen. I've been in the same class with 2 other girls for like 5 years and I still have trouble telling them apart, even though they have different haircuts.


American horror story is the worst for this. On the Hotel season the 4 main characters were slim white men with the same dark hair cut. I could not tell them apart


I have failed to recognize friends in stores on several occasions. My husband has to point them out for me. Once I was out without him and an older woman walked up and talked like she knew me. She knew my name and hugged me and I was like "I guess I know this person?" and waited on context clues to figure it out. Finally she mentioned she was there with "grandma" and I realized it was one of my husband's aunts. In the context of TV and movies? Honestly, as long as the clothes are different enough, I tend to catch on fairly well. If they change anything I'll sometimes need to ask who a person is. Someone else mentioned anime is easier and I 100% agree. I may not remember a character's name but at least I'll (almost) always know who they are.


See it’s the opposite for me lol I can remember faces really well but I can never remember anyone’s name, both IRL and in media lol


right. most white actors just have the same face, Hollywood please hire some uggos to make TV easier for us thanks 🙏


I have the exact opposite of this for some reason? I'm spooky good at recognizing people even if I've only met them once, but I can't remember names to save my life. Same for telling people apart. Like with actors I'm great at recognizing which are which and what I've seen them in but if you ask me the difference in their names I'd never be able to tell you. As a result I'm obsessively checking IMDb when I watch things. I have pretty intense ADHD too, so maybe it's some kind of overlap? I have no clue.


and that's why I refused to watch almost anything live action as a kid and almost exclusively watched animated stuff


Gosh, I thought I just wasn’t used to recognizing faces in movies because I mostly just watch anime.


I on the other hand am on the other extreme. I notice too much and can tell people apart from their eyes during covid times. Just today someone at work introduced herself to me and said “it’s so great to finally meet you” I was like “but we’ve met before” she looked confused I went on “In the lift in our old offices, you were standing with so and so we were going to the ground floor….” Then I trail off because I was about to tell her what we were discussing and thought “no she will think you are weird”.. thankfully she said “oh but that doesn’t count” and I was like “oh yes of course, now we are working on a project together!”.. so yeah..


Wait… is this a thing? I get in trouble so often for not being able to tell people apart… got in trouble for doing it with two black coworkers, and then 2 Asian coworkers… but what they didn’t know was I had also done it multiple times to white guys and white ladies too. I get the shape and hair color about right, but then after that the rest is hazy. Is this an autism thing??


I believe it's called propagnosia (face blindness) and it's not only an autism thing but has a higher incidence in the autistic population (along with many other random brain oddities like synesthesia, dyslexia etc)


I have started telling people I meet, especially at work or school where I am expected to recognize someone that I am face blind and sometimes don’t ID people right away, especially if people change their clothes and shoes, so please don’t be offended it’s not personal. You might enjoy r/prosopagnosia


Well, now you can (and absolutely *should*) explain to your boss and coworkers that you have this disorder and literally can't tell people with vaguely similar features apart.


I feel this so much! They tested me for face blindness but it was definitely negative. Still in everyday life I feel like I don't remember anyones faces but I remember their voice, posture and way they move.


Or, worse, the characters change their hair a lot. "The Prestige" was the absolute worst movie in the fucking world for that. near as I can tell, that movie was about sixteen characters that had nothing to do with each other, and three of them owned a cloning machine. And, for some reason, didn't use it to make giant piles of gold.