Identification of own-race and other-race faces: implications for the representation of race in face space

G. Byatt, Gillian Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Own-race faces are recognized more easily than faces of a different, unfamiliar race. According to the multidimensional space (MDS) framework, the poor discriminability of other-race faces is due to their being more densely clustered in face space than own-race faces. Multidimensional scaling analyses of similarity ratings (Caucasian participants, n = 22) showed that other-race (Chinese) faces are more densely clustered in face space. We applied a formal model to test whether the spatial location of face stimuli could account for identification accuracy of another group of Caucasian participants (n = 30). As expected, own-race (Caucasian) faces were identified more accurately (higher hit rate, lower false alarms, and higher A) than other-race faces, which were more densely clustered than ownrace faces. A quantitative model successfully predicted identification performance from the spatial locations of the stimuli. The results are discussed in relation to the standard MDS account of race effects and also an alternative “race-feature” hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-741
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Volume11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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