Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Dr. Joshua Correll

Abstract

The cross-race effect (CRE) is a phenomenon where people are better able to remember faces of their own race. Studies show that the CRE can be reduced by making participants aware of the effect, and by asking them to pay close attention to cross-race faces during the encoding phase. The objectives of this study were to reduce the CRE effect, to track eye movement, and to gather information of social background to further understand the CRE process. Data collected from 77 participants confirmed the CRE. However, the manipulation applied to the experimental group failed to improve the recognition performance of cross-race faces, suggesting that participants engaged in an ineffective encoding process. Eye tracker data confirmed previous findings and showed: less and longer fixations when looking at cross-race faces, and higher number of fixations in the areas of the eyes, nose, and mouth. Finally, the relationship between incremental experience with cross-race faces and a reduction of the CRE was inconclusive due to self-reporting issues.

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