Laurence, SK, Zhou, X and Mondloch, CJ (2015) The flip side of the other-race coin: They all look different to me. British Journal of Psychology, 107 (2). pp. 374-388. ISSN 0007-1269

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Poorer recognition of other‐race faces than own‐races faces has been attributed to a problem of discrimination (i.e., telling faces apart). The conclusion that ‘they all look the same to me' is based on studies measuring the perception/memory of highly controlled stimuli, typically involving only one or two images of each identity. We hypothesized that such studies underestimate the challenge involved in recognizing other‐race faces because in the real world, an individual's appearance varies in a number of ways (e.g., lighting, expression, hairstyle), reducing the utility of relying on pictorial cues to identity. In two experiments, Caucasian and East Asian participants completed a perceptual sorting task in which they were asked to sort 40 photographs of two unfamiliar identities into piles such that each pile contained all photographs of a single identity. Participants perceived more identities when sorting other‐race faces than own‐race faces, both when sorting celebrity (Experiment 1) and non‐celebrity (Experiment 2) faces, suggesting that in the real world, ‘they all look different to me'. We discuss these results in the light of models in which each identity is represented as a region in a multidimensional face space; we argue that this region is smaller for other‐race than own‐race faces.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer-reviewed version of the following article; Laurence, S., Zhou, X. & Mondloch, C.J., 2015. The flip side of the other-race coin: They all look different to me . Br J Psychol, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords: face perception, social cognition, visual perception, other-race effect
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2017 13:36
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2019 08:39

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