Differences in anticipated interaction drive own group biases in face memory

John Paul Wilson, Pirita E. See, Michael J. Bernstein, Kurt Hugenberg, Christopher Chartier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


According to much research, the Own Group Bias (OGB) in face memory occurs as a consequence of social categorization - ingroup members are more likely than outgroup members to be encoded as individuals and remembered well. The current work is an examination of the role of anticipated future interaction in the OGB. We conducted two studies showing that anticipated interaction influences group-based face memory. In Study 1, we provided correlational evidence that beliefs about the amount and importance of future interaction one will have with racial outgroup members is associated with the OGB, such that people expecting more interaction with outgroup members show a reduced OGB. In Study 2, we manipulated expectations about future interactions with lab-created groups and observed that high levels of anticipated future interaction with the outgroup eliminated the OGB. Thus, social group categorization drives face memory biases to the extent that group membership affords the expectation of interpersonal interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere90668
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 5 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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