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Increased Contact Can Reduce The Other Race Effect In Face Recognition

1554 words - 7 pages

Increased Contact Can Reduce the Other-Race Effect in Face Recognition
As humans, we come into contact with many faces in a day. The capability of these homosapiens to precisely distinguish thousands of faces is incredible seeing that all faces have approximately the similar arrangement. Nevertheless, this “gift” does not spread similarly the same to all faces. Sporer (2001) stated that humans commonly exhibit weaker remembrance for faces of another race compared to own-race faces (as cited in Hancock and Rhodes, 2008). The majority of us must have heard this line, “How am I to know if I have ever seen the person previously? They all look the same to me.” When we hear an individual say ...view middle of the document...

(Rhodes et al,. 2009).
The contact hypothesis by Allport (1954) clarifies the conflicting effects of race by proposing that increased contact between in-groups and out-groups will decrease prejudice and thus, develop better relationships within these members (as cited in Walker and Hewstone, 2006). Hence, the processing of other-race faces from the beginning perceptual periods can possibly be affected through contact. Walker and Hewstone’s (2006) study showed the connection between social exposure and an own-race effect in perceptual expertise. Therefore, people with more contact with other-race populations are expected to display a lesser own-race effect due to their ability to now process other-race faces in the same way they process the own-race faces.
A number of studies have displayed reliable results with this expectation that people with more other-race contact proved enhanced recognition of other-race faces. For example, Sangrigoli, Pallier, Argenti, Ventureyra and de Schonen (2005) presented that Korean adults adopted into European Caucasian families during the ages of three to nine were able to recognize Caucasian faces more precisely than Asian faces, while Korean participants brought up in Korea displayed otherwise. Besides that, Cross et al. (1971) also found that Caucasian and Black children from schools and areas where both races were mixed together displayed a reduced Other-Race Effect (ORE) than children from schools and areas that separates racial groups. Yet ironically, Cross et al. (1971) found that White children from areas that separate racial groups exhibited higher own-race effect than White children from areas where racial groups were mixed together but when tested with African American children from separated and mixed together neighborhoods, the results were not same. Despite the contact effects not being evident at all times, there is extensive indication that contact with the in-groups and out-groups, lead to Other-Race Effects (ORE) in face processing.
More exposure with other-race faces can decrease Other-Race Effects (ORE) in a few ways. Anzures et al. (2013) stated that increased contact with other-race individuals can lead to reduced prejudiced beliefs in adults and also children. Consequently, the drive to singularize them becomes higher. The second likelihood is that contact allows individuals perceptual learning techniques to alter the proportions on which faces are coded so that they efficiently signify differences inside a population they are used to with (Rhodes et al., 2009). The usefulness of these proportions, which consist of features and their spatial relations, is probable to differ among races.
Regardless of large support for the contact hypothesis, it is still not clear on how improved contact alters the means people use to process other-race faces. We reflect how contact impacts configural coding, as indexed by inverted decrements. Diamond and Carey (1986) found that recognition of faces is...

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