The other-race effect and holistic processing across racial groups

Wong, H.K., Estudillo, A.J., Stephen, I.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-9714-8295 and Keeble, D.R.T., 2021. The other-race effect and holistic processing across racial groups. Scientific Reports, 11 (1): 8507.

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It is widely accepted that holistic processing is important for face perception. However, it remains unclear whether the other-race effect (ORE) (i.e. superior recognition for own-race faces) arises from reduced holistic processing of other-race faces. To address this issue, we adopted a cross-cultural design where Malaysian Chinese, African, European Caucasian and Australian Caucasian participants performed four different tasks: (1) yes–no face recognition, (2) composite, (3) whole-part and (4) global–local tasks. Each face task was completed with unfamiliar own- and other-race faces. Results showed a pronounced ORE in the face recognition task. Both composite-face and whole-part effects were found; however, these holistic effects did not appear to be stronger for other-race faces than for own-race faces. In the global–local task, Malaysian Chinese and African participants demonstrated a stronger global processing bias compared to both European- and Australian-Caucasian participants. Importantly, we found little or no cross-task correlation between any of the holistic processing measures and face recognition ability. Overall, our findings cast doubt on the prevailing account that the ORE in face recognition is due to reduced holistic processing in other-race faces. Further studies should adopt an interactionist approach taking into account cultural, motivational, and socio-cognitive factors.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Scientific Reports
Creators: Wong, H.K., Estudillo, A.J., Stephen, I.D. and Keeble, D.R.T.
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Date: 19 April 2021
Volume: 11
Number: 1
Rights: Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit © The Author(s) 2021.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 13 Oct 2021 09:59
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2021 09:59

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