Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Joshua Correll

Second Advisor

Tiffany Ito

Third Advisor

Leaf Van Boven

Fourth Advisor

Lewis Harvey

Fifth Advisor

Stefanie Mollborn


The objective of the current research was to examine perceiver- and stimulus- driven moderators of preferential attention to racial outgroup versus ingroup faces. Existing research finds that White participants demonstrate preferential attention to Black versus White faces. Importantly, some of this work suggests that perceiver variables, like motivation, and stimulus properties, like color, are associated with preferential attention to race. The first set of studies examined the effects of expectancies on attention to race in the absence (Study 1) and presence (Study 2) of color cues that were diagnostic of race. Results showed that awareness of race, alone, did not moderate preferential attention to Black versus White faces. However, there was evidence that awareness of race, along with a race diagnostic color cue, was associated with preferential attention to the outgroup color cue. The final study manipulated the visual salience of Black relative to White faces and examined how low-level, visual cues moderate the effects of race on attention (Study 3). We found that greater attention to Black versus White faces emerged more strongly over the course of the task, even when the Black faces were less visually salient than the White faces. Collectively, the proposed studies aim to provide a broader, more comprehensive understanding of both perceiver- and stimulus-driven processes moderating attention to race.