Contact and other-race effects in configural and component processing of faces

Rhodes, Gillian, Ewing, Louise ORCID:, Hayward, William G, Maurer, Daphne, Mondloch, Catherine J and Tanaka, James W (2009) Contact and other-race effects in configural and component processing of faces. British Journal of Psychology, 100 (4). pp. 717-728. ISSN 0007-1269

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Other-race faces are generally recognized more poorly than own-race faces. There has been a long-standing interest in the extent to which differences in contact contribute to this other-race effect (ORE). Here, we examined the effect of contact on two distinct aspects of face memory, memory for configuration and for components, both of which are better for own-race than other-race faces. Configural and component memory were measured using recognition memory tests with intact study faces and blurred (isolates memory for configuration) and scrambled (isolates memory for components) test faces, respectively. Our participants were a large group of ethnically Chinese individuals who had resided in Australia for varying lengths of time, from a few weeks to 26 years. We found that time in a Western country significantly (negatively) predicted the size of the ORE for configural, but not component, memory. There was also a trend for earlier age of arrival to predict smaller OREs in configural, but not component, memory. These results suggest that memory for configural information in other-race faces improves with experience with such faces. However, as found for recognition memory generally, the contact effects were small, indicating that other factors must play a substantial role in cross-race differences in face memory.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: acculturation,adolescent,adult,age factors,attention,china,discrimination,ethnic groups,face,female,humans,male,mental recall,visual pattern recognition,perceptual distortion,perceptual masking,recognition,social distance,western australia,young adult
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Developmental Science
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2016 16:00
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 04:31
DOI: 10.1348/000712608X396503

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