Undergraduate Honors Thesis


The Interaction of Race and Familiarity on Identity Formation Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
  • People create mental representations of others every day. These mental representations or identities may include a synthesis of information such as different images that make up a specific person. Thus, an identity can be represented as its own category. How familiar one is with a person can also strengthen or hinder identity formation. Additionally, previous research has shown that race can impact identity formation and is especially salient for cross-race individuals. However, very little research has been conducted to further the understanding of the interplay between race, experience, and identity formation. I worked to help fill this gap, conducting a study to examine identity formation of different race targets at varying levels of familiarity. I tested identity formation through the use of the categorical perception effect which observes the strength of an identity in one’s mind. I found that race seems to play a prominent role in identity formation as the results show that categorical perception was stronger for same-race identities compared to cross-race identities. Overall, looking at the interaction between race and familiarity there was no evidence that familiarity affects identity formation differently for same- versus cross-race targets.

Date Awarded
  • 2023-04-03
Academic Affiliation
Committee Member
Granting Institution
Last Modified
  • 2023-04-19
Resource Type
Rights Statement


In Collection: