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RECOGNIZING FACES OF OTHER ETHNIC GROUPS An Integration of Theories

RECOGNIZING FACES OF OTHER ETHNIC GROUPS An Integration of Theories

Abstract

Studies of the recognition of faces of an ethnic group different from one's own reveal a robust recognition deficit for faces of the respective out-group (cross-race effect or own-race bias) and a tendency to respond less cautiously with respect to out-group faces. Cross-national comparisons reveal that the cross-race effect appears to be larger among low-contact groups. Although exemplar-based models postulating a multidimensional face space are currently in vogue, some of the more traditional accounts (e.g., the contact hypothesis) should not be dismissed prematurely. An extended exemplar-based model that relates the out-group recognition deficit to the out-group homogeneity effect in social perception and judgment appears promising. An in-group/out-group model (IOM) of face processing is proposed that includes aspects of previous theories and derives new predictions (e.g., a cross-sex or cross-age effect). The IOM attempts to account for the out-group recognition deficit and the more lax response criterion with respect to out-group faces.
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