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The effect of facial expression and identity information on the processing of own and other race faces

The central aim of the current thesis was to examine how facial expression and racial identity information affect face processing involving different races, and this was addressed by studying several types of face processing tasks including face recognition, emotion perception/recognition, face perception and attention to faces. In particular, the effect of facial expression on the differential processing of own and other race faces (the so-called the own-race bias) was examined from two perspectives, examining the effect both at the level of perceptual expertise favouring the processing of own-race faces and in-group bias influencing face processing in terms of a self-enhancing dimension. Results from the face recognition study indicated a possible similarity between familiar/unfamiliar and own-race/other-race face processing. Studies on facial expression perception and memory showed that there was no indication of in-group bias in face perception and memory, although a common finding throughout was that different race faces were often associated with different types of facial expressions. The most consistent finding across all studies was that the effect of the own-race bias was more evident amongst European participants. Finally, results from the face attention study showed that there were no signs of preferential visual attention to own-race faces. The results from the current research provided further evidence to the growing body of knowledge regarding the effects of the own-race bias. Based on this knowledge, for future studies it is suggested that a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the own-race bias would help advance this interesting and ever-evolving area of research further.
Date January 2006
CreatorsHirose, Yoriko
ContributorsHancock, Peter J. B.
PublisherUniversity of Stirling
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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