Are super-recognizers the type of people that researchers discard?

I guess I’m unusual among housewives in my keen interest in the sciences that are relevant to human life, to the degree that I go beyond reading popular books and articles on the subject and I read complete science journal papers. I was once a psychology student at a university, but I didn’t complete that degree. I’ve never been satisfied to accept dumbed-down, summarized and officially-approved explanations of how things work, so I’m a bit of an autodidact, and I like to find out what goes on behind the stories that we are told by science journalists, alternative medicine advocates, doctors and pop science writers. To this end I have taught myself a bit about how research studies are conducted and written-up, and how they should be conducted and written up. One thing that many people might not be aware of is that researchers routinely discard a particular type of data from their studies, and this selective exclusion of data isn’t seen as a scandal. Outliers are observations that deviate markedly from other observations in the sample. Outliers are data points that are a long way from the mean of the sample. They are extreme values. When super-recognizers take tests of face recognition, I guess their scores could look like outliers. I’d love to know whether exceptional performances of super-recognizers have been recorded in studies, but the observations of those performances excluded from data sets. But there is no way to know, because researchers often don’t give information about excluded outliers in their papers reporting studies. Apparently the exclusion of outliers is now frowned-upon and is not regarded as best practice, but it has been a common practive in years past. Today I have been looking at a study involving a test of face processing that was published in 2006. The paper’s authors explained that two outliers were excluded. They gave no information about these excluded outliers except for the gender of the relevant study subjects. It’s a pretty poor way to conduct research, don’t you think?

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