TNB Night Owl – Are You A Forensic Science Natural?

Double image of ocean scene. CC0 Public Domain.

A study at the University of Exeter, UK, has shown that a small number of people have a natural talent, or gift, at matching complex images of forensic evidence such as fingerprints, faces, or firearms. In practice, forensic scientist spend years learning and training to do just that. However, a few gifted individuals can, without any instruction or training, simply look at two images and tell whether the objects depicted match or are otherwise somehow linked. People with this ability are called “super-matchers” and can be identified through testing. Most super-matchers have no idea they have a special skill in this area. The first step is to take a simple online test that determines whether a person might have the gift and would be a candidate for formal in-person testing. Researchers are trying to learn what percentage of people have this superpower.

The test doesn’t take long, although you can take as much time as you like staring at each pair of images. There’s no reason to be nervous, either. You either have the skill or you don’t, and there’s no shame in being among those who don’t as that includes the overwhelming vast majority of us.

So why should you take the online test? (1) It’s fun and interesting (2) You might find out something about yourself (3) A career as an CSI Forensic Scientist might be waiting for you.

If you take the test, be sure to click on each question block on the opening pages of the website to indicate that you read the question and agree to it (don’t worry, it’s anonymous unless you give them you’re email address after you’ve completed the online test). If you don’t click on each question block to highlight it, the test will not begin.

When you’ve finished all sixteen pairs of images, the website will tell you how many you answered correctly. Have fun!

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About Richard Doud 507 Articles
Learning is a life-long endeavor. Never stop learning. No one is right all the time. No one is wrong all the time. No exceptions to these rules.