Interracial contexts debilitate same-race face recognition

Steven G. Young, Kurt Hugenberg, Micheal J. Bernstein, Donald F. Sacco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Social cognitive research has documented the integral role of social categories (e.g., race) in face processing. Activating a social category can lead perception and memory of faces to be biased in a category-consistent direction. The current research extends this past work, to test the hypothesis that making a social category salient can reduce subsequent face recognition. In two experiments, the current research finds that the typically superior same-race recognition is debilitated by making the same-race category salient. We find that when White-Americans self-categorize as 'White,' subsequent perceptual and memorial biases reduce the typically strong same-race recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1126
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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